Northern Bobwhite

Colinus virginianus 

Found in open forests and overgrown fields
Striking brown, red-brown, white and black patterns
Travel in convoys on ground unless flushed

Size & Shape

Bobwhite are small quail with rounded bodies, small heads, rounded wings, and short tails.

Color Pattern

They are intricately patterned in brown, rufous, buff, and black. Males have a bold black-and-white head pattern. Females have a buffy throat and eyebrow.


Northern Bobwhites travel in coveys and run across the ground from the shelter of one shrubby patch to another. When they are flushed, they explode into flight with quick wingbeats and then duck into the nearest cover.


Northern Bobwhites live in open pine forests, overgrown fields, shrubby areas, and grasslands. They respond well to areas managed with prescribed fire, which helps to maintain an open, grassy ground layer.


Have you spotted this bird in a particular area?
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