A nationally recognized quail expert invites all "students of quail" to the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch's inaugural field day set from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Sept. 12.

The ranch is located 12 miles west of Roby on U.S. Hwy.180.

"Our inaugural field day will be the first of what I hope are many significant events towards the proliferation of quail in West Texas," said Dr. Dale Rollins, Texas AgriLife Extension Service wildlife specialist and the ranch's director.

Two Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units will be available for those with a private applicator’s license.

An innovative approach to fire and grazing will be a featured talk during the day, according to Rollins.

"I'm really intrigued by the concept of patch-burn-grazing as it relates to quail habitat management," Rollins said. "We initiated this project last March as a way to develop a quail-friendly approach to prickly pear management.

“We only burn parts of pastures, then follow with a light stocking rate of cattle,” he said. “The cows graze the burned area, resulting in more weeds beneficial to quail. But by not burning the whole pasture, we are leaving adjacent areas that provide excellent nesting and escape cover."

Rollins said the field day will also highlight several studies done cooperatively with the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Kingsville. One study involved counting quail from a helicopter and monitoring fall-winter survival using radio telemetry. The other evaluated quail abundance using GPS-equipped bird dogs to find the quail.

Other topics will include:

-- Food Plots for Quail.

-- Nesting Ecology.

-- Renovating Bermuda grass and Conservation Reserve Program Fields for Quail.

-- Brush Sculpting for Quail.

-- Roadrunners, Rattlesnakes and Quail.

The field day will be conducted by the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch, Texas AgriLife Research, AgriLife Extension and Quail Unlimited.

The Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch was established in 2007 with the goal of sustaining Texas' wild quail hunting heritage through the 21st century.

Individual pre-registration by Sept. 5 is $10 and $15 thereafter. The fee includes lunch. In case of inclement weather, the event will be moved to the Roby Community Center.

RSVP to Rollins at 325-653-4576 or d-rollins@tamu.edu

See http://teamquail.tamu.edu/home.php for program updates.