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Handling Quail

 
pollinator
Posts: 464
Location: Utah
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We have quail in our yard, and I finally found their nesting area--under the currant bushes, behind a mass of sunflowers.

I walked over there and a pair of quail ran ahead of me, into the mass. Then as I got closer they ran out again and just stood there, about ten feet away. Closest I've ever been to a wild quail. As I moved closer they moved away, but reluctantly, and as soon as I retreated, they went back in. The male stood on alert. I think she's nesting.

The problem is that I haven't been able to grow anything in the adjacent garden for several years. Whatever comes up gets chomped immediately and I see the little quail wallows at even intervals--the same intervals that I planted my seeds. And I know what's happening now, because the "pantry" is so close she can just run out and nibble, while staying close to her nest.

I'll eventually move the currants out of this area, but for the moment this is what we have. My question is, what can I plant in and around their nesting area to draw their attention away from my beans? I have plenty of seeds. Some kind of grass or grain? Wheat? Rye? Sorghum? The babies will need insects rather than seeds, and there's plenty in there. But I can't have them eating my food plants.
 
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We planted black oil seed sunflowers for both the quail and the doves.

We have had the quail take dust baths in our garden though they were never interested in any of the plants.
 
Lauren Ritz
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Thanks. I do have black sunflower seed, although that would be more of a late summer/early fall option simply because of growth times. I planted sorghum, millett and amaranth yesterday and finished the "stairway" to the area where I planted them.

I removed some of the covers from the larger plants, so we'll see if they get nibbled.
 
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