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Distinctive pinkish-red wattles become unmistakable as wild turkeys extend their necks to survey a canyonlands landscape

Quail are six ounce ignots of gold.

Dale Rollins

Game birds

The Bobwhite Quail's strongest habitat in the United States today lies in the Brazos River Canyonlands. A new quail research center, the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch, funded by The Mellon Trust with the support of The Conservation Fund, opened this year on a 5,000 acre ranch in Fisher County, between the Clear Fork of the Brazos and the Double Mountain Fork. Dale Rollins, wildlife specialist extraordinaire, directs the ranch. Quail Unlimited awarded its 2007 prize for Quail habitat conservation to the 5,900-acre T-Diamond Ranch located in the Brazos River Canyonlands, near the Double Mountain Fork of Brazos River.

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Bobwhite and Blue Quail

Reproduced with permission from Wyman Meinzer

Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch

The Texas Sportsman magazine, February 2008 issue, contains an article by Tom Stephenson about “Quail Alley,” a 150–mile wide corridor that coincides with the Texas Canyonlands ecosystems. Quail Alley is “one of the last strongholds of wild quail,” and “an invite to hunt wild quail in Quail Alley is not to be missed… To decline such a summons… would be considered a mortal sin amongst the quail hierarchy.”

Dove remain abundant. Hawks soar across the landscape, searching for quail, their favorite prey. The Roadrunner, the Paisano, chases the lizards and insects. With urbanization having changed Texas' natural wildlife habitats, the Canyonlands have become a fly-way for waterfowl, including Sandhill Cranes which migrate across the area, using the rivers and canyons as their sanctuaries.

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Otis Dozier
Wild Turkey

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A mature male with its identifying iridescent bronze and green wings leading a rafter of younger wild turkeys

Wild turkeys camouflaged by the ground cover of tall grasses in an open field