what to feed wild quail

Asked September 18, 2017, 1:01 PM EDT

We have adult and baby quail on our property and love watching them feed. We guess they are getting insects from the ground, but we'd like to be able to help them by either planting something they like or put out feed for them. Any suggestions?

Riverside County California wildlife

1 Response

You are correct that they are likely eating many insects. Particularly for young birds, insects are an important and very energy dense food source. As they get older they will transition to a more diverse diet. Things you could consider planting would be native or non-weedy legumes. Wild game type birds key in on those throughout the year, but particularly in the winter. In the spring they will prefer small forbs and insects. Fruits are flowers will be abundant in the summer, and the seeds from those plants--at least those small enough for them to consume--are common forage for them in the late summer and fall.
I know there are commercial blocks available specifically for quail, so you could try that at a small scale and get a feel for if they are preferring that over what is naturally available on your property. Best of luck! You might consider contacting your local fish and wildlife agency for other locally specific quail conservation tactics.