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Subject:Re: Northern Bobwhite (probable wild birds near the Minnesota border)
From:Paul Hertzel <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Paul Hertzel <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 10 Nov 2011 17:22:04 -0600

Bob, and MOU,

Northern Bobwhite in Iowa are considered wild in the southern third 
of the state, probably not wild in the northern third of the state, 
and status uncertain in the middle third. I don't think it's clear if 
the population in the northern third was ever truly wild, but if it 
was, it probably waxed and waned with the severity of oldtime winters 
back when the habitat was true prairie. Alas, today, birds found 
there probably originated from game farm releases or escapees. The 
DNR 2011 August Roadside Surveys found no birds in the northern 3 
tiers of counties. Overall, Bobwhite numbers were down -36% from a 
truly awful low in 2010, and now are at whatever low is beneath truly 
awful. Most are confined to the southern third of the state, although 
there is a finger of sparse distribution up the Missouri River Valley 
in the far west.

The Iowa Breeding Bird Atlas project of the early 90s did detect a 
few individuals in counties bordering Minnesota, but made no attempt 
to classify the birds as wild or otherwise. Iowa is currently 
involved in a second BBS project, and after 4 years there have been 
no observations in any counties bordering Minnesota. Of about 150 
observations statewide, only three have been in the second tier of 
counties below the state line.

In my opinion, birds found today in Minnesota almost certainly are 
not wild, at least, that would be the sensible position to take if 
you served on a records committee, which is an unpleasant, thankless 
job, which is why you have to hope only sensible people are appointed.

Paul Hertzel
Mason City, IA

At 11:00 AM 11/10/2011, Robert P Russell wrote:
>Despite the MOU powers that be rejecting my Stevens County Bobwhite 
>record of 2 years ago for the trivial reason that it was on a game 
>farm (elk, not pheasant!!) and the bad personal funk that that 
>rejection resulted in, I decided to see what the Iowa Breeding Bird 
>Atlas had found on this species.  Much to my surprise there appear 
>to be at least three Iowa locations where probably wild Northern 
>Bobwhite live within 7 miles of the MN southern border.  One report 
>comes from the Iowa River drainage NNE of Lime Spring, Howard 
>County, Iowa less than 2 miles south of York and Bristol Townships, 
>Fillmore County, MN (if their pin placement is relatively accurate). 
>Another report comes from east of Lake Park, Dickinson Co. Iowa near 
>Spirit Lake within 4 miles of the MN border south of Sioux Valley 
>Township--try on MN state wildlife areas south of the town of Sioux 
>Valley.  The third report is near Lester, Lyon County, Iowa 
>approximately 8 miles south of Steen, Clinton Township, Rock County, 
>MN.  There are also bobwhite reported west of Rock County, MN in 
>South Dakota.  So why not head SW this weekend and try to locate one 
>of Minnesota more enigmatic species that just might be recolonizing 
>areas to our south and poised to slip across the border or may 
>already have.  Bob Russell finally getting over rejection now.

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