Jump to content

The Fall Covey Call


Recommended Posts

Quail make a variety of sounds, so well illustrated here by Dr Dale Rollins ofTexas A&M, and one ofter most exciting is the fall covey call. I saw an Instagram post today about it from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Here's what they said:

 

Quote

Bob, bob-white! Did you know these gregarious gamebirds were socialites? As summer ends and fall approaches, N O R T H E R N B O B W H I T E (or bobwhite quail) get ready for overwinter survival by forming into groups called coveys. Quail are a social species and help each other survive throughout the winter by foraging together and taking turns watching out for predators. They establish these groups typically in October through November by calling out to each other right around first light with the “koi-lee” call. 

This calling behavior helps tell quail throughout the landscape who else might be out there and where. Average covey size is 12 to 15 birds. The quail remain in coveys until spring approaches, when they “break up” and disperse to begin the mating season.

Georgia has been known as a premiere quail-hunting destination for over 100 years and the Georgia General Assembly designated the bobwhite as the State Gamebird in 1970. The statewide hunting season opens this Saturday, 11/14. 

 

Anyway, last week I recorded one of the fall calls, a sound not enough hunters run into these days.  Hearing this is among the highlights of quail management, as it is the end result of a long summer nesting season, a time of high peril for young birds.  

 

Hope you enjoy it. This was at 6:29 AM on November 5, 2020. Nothing to see, but if you like quail, there's a bit to hear. 

 

 

 

 

Here's another from a week later; volume may be better with it:

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

What sounds?  I can't hear important stuff anymore!  When does the good part of old age start to kick in???...SelbyLowndes

Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, SelbyLowndes said:

What sounds?  I can't hear important stuff anymore!  When does the good part of old age start to kick in???...SelbyLowndes

 

Going to too many dove shoots years ago sans ear plugs did it for a lot of us.... 🤪

Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, spring said:

Going to too many dove shoots years ago sans ear plugs did it for a lot of us.... 🤪

 

 

Yep.  I guess the only "good part" of old age is the dementia...SelbyLowndes  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes I love to here them. We start out our hunts very early in the morning locating covies. I do my scouting that way driving out to new locales before work to listen for a covey.  I couldn’t here the recording either. But when I go out use my gameears to here them.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, mccuha said:

Yes I love to here them. We start out our hunts very early in the morning locating covies. I do my scouting that way driving out to new locales before work to listen for a covey.  I couldn’t here the recording either. But when I go out use my gameears to here them.  

 

Around here they're always looking for volunteers go out in the fall and listen for covey calls on public lands; very important to have an idea what all is out there. Make sure your computer volume is turned up; you should hear some very familiar whistles when you do. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, spring said:

 

I know they're always looking for volunteers go out in the fall and listen for covey calls on public lands; very important to have an idea what all is out there.  Make sure your computer volume is turned up; you should hear some very familiar whistles when you do. 

Yes. My hunting partner and I were wanting to do that for one of the properties the GA DNR has but one of the days they were going to do it neither one of us could come help. I know they do this listening for covies and go out after they stop whistling and try and find the covies to get a pretty good count to the no. of birds in the covey.  I'm hoping next year will work out for us.  

 

I was trying to hear the video on my I pad .  I'll try at some point to listen to it on the computer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting this. I have been interested in listening for this call in the mornings.

 

You say it was 6:29 am, but that isn't saying much as quail don't wear watches. They relate to sunrise or more accurately the amount of light present. 6:29 am could be sunrise, 15 or 20 minutes after or 30 minutes before depending on where you are in the time zone. Judging from the light in the video it looks like before sunrise but cameras can be deceiving in that respect.

 

Do quail use this call all fall and on into winter? Does hunting pressure affect their using this call?

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Treerooster said:

Thanks for posting this. I have been interested in listening for this call in the mornings.

 

You say it was 6:29 am, but that isn't saying much as quail don't wear watches. They relate to sunrise or more accurately the amount of light present. 6:29 am could be sunrise, 15 or 20 minutes after or 30 minutes before depending on where you are in the time zone. Judging from the light in the video it looks like before sunrise but cameras can be deceiving in that respect.

 

Do quail use this call all fall and on into winter? Does hunting pressure affect their using this call?

 

 

This was very early and before the actual sunrise for that day, which was at 6:56 am. It was still very low light. This is a call that you typically hear in October and November. Quail biologists love this time of year as it helps give them a good idea about bird populations. 

 

October and November is the time that the different summer broods get together and ultimately split up into coveys for the winter. They call it "the fall shuffle.' It's basically Mother Nature's way of dispersing the gene pool; preventing birds from later looking for dates at a family reunion. 

 

The season opens this weekend; so looking forward to getting out a bit and trying to find a few. I have been very slack with my offseason dog training, so I'll be more looking for correction opportunities than taking any. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Treerooster said:

Thanks for posting this. I have been interested in listening for this call in the mornings.

 

You say it was 6:29 am, but that isn't saying much as quail don't wear watches. They relate to sunrise or more accurately the amount of light present. 6:29 am could be sunrise, 15 or 20 minutes after or 30 minutes before depending on where you are in the time zone. Judging from the light in the video it looks like before sunrise but cameras can be deceiving in that respect.

 

Do quail use this call all fall and on into winter? Does hunting pressure affect their using this call?

There’s no guarantee that all covies will respond.  I feel that birds pressured will sometimes not respond. We whistle about 30-45 min before sunrise. Usually by sunrise they want respond. Earlier than say 45 min prior to sunrise they want respond.  It’s just a very small window they will call back.  Now unpressured birds will begin a call back to each other to covey back up as soon as they can .  A lot of times with 30 min or an hr. I notice it a lot more on my place in Texas than any where else I’ve hunted.  I never want to mess with them after I’ve found them once. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...