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  1. 1. L.A.N.D.S Learning Across New Dimensions In Science Quail Necropsy
  2. 2. Bobwhite Quail Facts The bobwhite quail is a relatively small bird that is about 10 inches long. It has a mixed plumage of brown, black, white and buff making it almost invisible against the vegetation of weedy fields and edges of the woodlands. Bobwhite quail reside in pastures, abandoned fields, crop fields, grasslands, brushy areas along forest edges and shrubby meadows. The average home range size is 40 acres.
  3. 3. Bobwhite quail search for food in the early portion of the morning and then again in the hours before nightfall. Bobwhites feed on insects and weed seeds. The juvenile quail’s menu is 85 percent bugs while the adults’ diet is comprised of about 70 percent seeds and 30 percent insects on a year-round basis. Seeds of many plants such as ragweed and foxtail are edible and the bobwhite is highly dependent on these seeds during the fall and winter months.
  4. 4. During much of the year they travel in small groups known as coveys, sleeping at night in a compact circle, tails to the center. This roosting technique allows the covey to conserve heat and be ready to fly in all directions if approached by a predator. Hawks, skunks, foxes, raccoons, owls, snakes, dogs, domestic cats, and hunters are predators of quail.
  5. 5. In the spring, May through September, the male selects a territory in which to nest and the female is responsible for the nest building. The female will build a nest on the ground in which she lays 10-15 eggs per clutch. Incubation lasts 23-24 days. The chicks follow their parents upon hatching and fledge in 6-7 days. They can fly short distances at 10 to 14 days. Chicks survival is low – probably no more than 30 percent survive their first year. The major factors leading to the decreasing numbers of bobwhite quail are habitat loss, intensive agricultural practices, and harsh weather events.
  6. 6. Getting to Know Your Quail Key Questions • Is your quail male or female? • Is it an adult or juvenile? • Is your quail a carnivore, herbivore, or omnivore? • What external features show you this? • Do quail spend more time walking or flying?
  7. 7. Is Your Quail Male or Female? The coloration of the feathers on the head and neck of older birds is how you distinguish between the male and female birds.
  8. 8. Males have a distinctive white eye stripe that extends from the bill through the top of the eye to the back of the neck.
  9. 9. Females have buff colored feathers in place of the white feathers that are present on the male bird.
  10. 10. Look at your quail’s beak • Based on beak shape, what do you think your quail eats? • Is your quail a carnivore, herbivore, or an omnivore ?
  11. 11. Beak Adaptations Beak Type Bird Advantage Long, probing Wading birds and shore birds Probing shallow water and mud for insets Pouch-like Pelican Holding fish Sturdy and pointed Woodpecker Probing bark and trees for insects Thick, curved, sharp Hawks Ability to tear meat Stout, conical shape Bobwhite, finch, cardinal Cracking seeds Shovel shaped Ducks Ability to sieve and filter water for plants
  12. 12. Look at your quails’ feet • Based on foot structure, what does the quail use its feet for? • How can you tell?
  13. 13. Feet Adaptations Feet Bird Advantage Webbed or lobed Ducks and grebes Swimming, walking on mud Long toes Herons Walking on mud Claws or talons Birds of prey Grasping prey Perching Many songbirds Sitting on branches and roosting Scratching Quail, turkey Scratching ground for seeds
  14. 14. The 3 functions of feathers • Thermoregulation – Core body temperature is 108 degrees F • Flight • Camouflage
  15. 15. Feather Structure
  16. 16. Is your quail an adult or juvenile? To determine juveniles from adults you look at the primary coverts.
  17. 17. In adults, these feathers will normally be uniformly gray. Juvenile birds will normally have buff-colored tips on these feathers. Juvenile Bird
  18. 18. Find the mass of your quail.
  19. 19. How tall is your quail? Position the quail in “normal walking position
  20. 20. Pull feathers from the bottom of the breast to the head, and pull feathers off one of the legs.
  21. 21. Then gently cut skin to expose breast muscle.
  22. 22. Compare muscle color of breast and leg.
  23. 23. LIGHT MEAT VS DARK MEAT Have you ever wondered why the breast meat on your Thanksgiving turkey is light and the leg meat is dark? Light meat does not have a good supply of blood rich in oxygen. These muscles can react quickly, but soon tire. A turkey's quick burst of flight relies on the rapid power of their "light" breast muscle although they cannot fly at great distances. Dark meat is muscle with a greater blood supply (more myoglobin) and a supply of fat. These muscles can work steadily for a long time without tiring. The dark meat of turkey thighs tells us turkeys are good runners and walkers. Is your quail a walker or a flier?
  24. 24. Eye and Ear Function: Sight and Hearing EAR EYE
  25. 25. Vision is the major sense by which birds perceive their environment. A quail’s eyes are located on the side of the head. Does this make them a predator or prey? Eyes in the front, I hunt Eyes on the side, I hide
  26. 26. Birds hear over a range of frequencies slightly greater than that of people. This allows them to detect, locate, and home in on a food source. Their keen sense of hearing also protects them from predators.
  27. 27. Uropygial Gland Function: Oil gland used to waterproof feathers Uropygial Gland
  28. 28. Keel (Sternum) Function: Provides an attachment point
  29. 29. Now let’s follow the path of a seed as it is consumed and digested by the quail.
  30. 30. Esophagus and Trachea Function: Move food using peristalsis and air to lungs Trache a Esophagus
  31. 31. Crop Function: Food storage, allows quail to eat and run Crop
  32. 32. Open Crop
  33. 33. Insert thumb under the breast and gently pull back to open the quail
  34. 34. Liver Function: Detoxification, cleanses the blood of waste materials, breaking down of red blood cells
  35. 35. Heart Function: Blood flow, circulation
  36. 36. Proventriculus Function: First stomach, soft food digestion
  37. 37. Gizzard Function: Muscular organ for grinding food, Sometimes contains grit (small rocks)
  38. 38. Opening the gizzard
  39. 39. Contents of gizzard and inside view Inner lining of gizzard- “koilin”. Is its consistency more like sandpaper, or tissue paper? Why? C o m p a
  40. 40. Duodenum and Small Intestine Function: First part of small intestine breaks down food for small intestine to absorb nutrients
  41. 41. Large Intestine Function: Remove water and transport waste Cecae – function is to provide microbial digestion of highcellulose foods Large Intestine
  42. 42. Intestinal Tract Small Intestine Large Intestine
  43. 43. Female quail with eggs
  44. 44. Clean up •Dispose of all bird parts in trash bin •Wash and dry dissecting pan and all utensils •Dispose of gloves in trash bin •Fold aprons neatly •Leave your lab table organized and cleaner then you found it
  45. 45. Let’s Review •How big is the bobwhite quail? •What is the bobwhite quail’s habitat? •How can you tell the difference in the male and female? •What does the bobwhite quail eat? •How many eggs does the female lay? •Name some predators of the bobwhite quail. •Is the bobwhite quail a predator or prey and how can you tell?
  46. 46. •How can you tell whether the quail is a walker or a flier? •What is the food storage pouch called? •What is the name of the first stomach? •What is the name of the second stomach? •What did the inside of the second stomach feel like and how does this aid in digestion?
  47. 47. Final Thoughts for Consideration The state of Texas is fortunate to have some of the best quail hunting in the habitat range of the bobwhite. Hunterlandowner relationships are important in Texas, as any quail hunter knows. The birds themselves belong to the people of the state, but most of the land on which they reside belongs to individuals. The bobwhite's potential as a game bird depends on land use practices carried out by these landowners. We must all be good stewards of the land and promote land stewardship practices in order to preserve the habitat for the bobwhite quail.
  48. 48. This program funded by the Texas Wildlife Association Foundation and the Leonard Family Foundation.
  49. 49. TEKS Covered SCIENCE: 7.1AB 7.2BD 7.4AB 7.10C 7.12ABC 7.13AB BIOLOGY: 1AB 2FGH 10AC 12B AG: 6C 12B