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montezuma quail diet

Diet. Montezuma Quail – Cyrtonyx montexumae. This call is high pitched and described as a “buzz-shrill” sound. Trump Administration Drastically Slashes Protections for Northern Spotted Owls, More Food on the Table for New England's Puffins and Terns, Artificial Lighting May Shift Bird Migration by More Than a Week, New Research Says. ML Audio 105253. 7 years. However, some practices used to benefit other quail species or game animals, such as controlled burns and reduced livestock grazing, are likely to benefit Montezuma quail as well. The bulbs of various plants (including wood sorrel and nut-grasses) may be a major part of the diet. Downy young leave nest soon after hatching, are accompanied by both parents. Choose a temperature scenario below to see which threats will affect this species as warming increases. If your quail are in an outdoor pen, they will often “fight” over a tasty insect and chase the lucky birds who found it first. Gambel’s quail and Montezuma quail have small distributions in portions of the Scaled Quail Diets in the Trans-Pecos T he Trans-Pecos region of Texas, which incorporates a portion of the Chihuahuan Desert, is blessed with an abundance and diversity of quail species that is second to none. Consequently, the birds are often seen digging in moist soil with their elongated claws adapted for exposing roots and tubers. What is known is that loss of herbaceous cover due to freezes, fires, overgrazing, and drought can lead to more avian predation by raptors because camouflage and crouching in cover are their main means of defense. Montezuma quail are different. Montezuma Quail, and led to the establishment of denser, brushier forest lacking a tallgrass understory. The incubation period is 24 to 26 days, and while the female seems to play the main role in incubation the male has also been reported to assist. Help power unparalleled conservation work for birds across the Americas, Stay informed on important news about birds and their habitats, Receive reduced or free admission across our network of centers and sanctuaries, Access a free guide of more than 800 species of North American birds, Discover the impacts of climate change on birds and their habitats, Learn more about the birds you love through audio clips, stunning photography, and in-depth text. At the last minute they will then flush or run away. Due to its small range in Texas, the Montezuma quail does not get nearly as much conservation and management attention as more popular species. The holes, often at the bases of bushes and rocks, may be as much as 8 cm deep and are a good sign of the bird's presence. Under good conditions, a second clutch may be possible. The type of habitat they are most commonly associated with are pine-oak woodlands. Although it depends on the time of the year, species of quail and the individual. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, Results and Analysis 1966 – 2011. The water and food needs of the Montezuma quail are met through a diet that consists mainly of sedge tubers and rhizomes, wild onions, and underground wood sorrel bulbs. Version 07.03.2013 USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD. Learn more about these drawings. Bald Eagle. Wildfires maintain grass cover thus, without fire woody plants out-compete grasses. Juveniles of both sexes more or less resemble the female adult until around 16 weeks of age. The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. They are very well adapted to desert conditions and, unlike most other birds, can derive needed moisture from their diet without having to rely on a daily water source. They feed on the ground, where they move slowly through grasses and denser parts of woodland and dig into the ground in search of food. Lives of North American Birds. If the supply of succulent foods is adequate, the Montezuma quail can These birds travel in pairs or in small family groups, rarely forming large coveys. Adults may lead young to food, but young feed themselves. Various raptors, including Cooper’s hawks, northern goshawks, northern harriers, as well as canine predators, such as coyotes, will target Montezuma quail. Accessed December 02, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Cyrtonyx_montezumae/. Along with seeds and grains, they also eat other plant materials to ensure getting trace elements and other nutrients that they need for proper growth and regular production. White, often becoming stained in nest. Young are capable of making short flights at about 10 days; reach adult size in about 10-11 weeks. Has disappeared or become scarce in parts of the southwest because of overgrazing. Photo: Isaac Sanchez/Audubon Photography Awards. The females are smaller and instead of black and white faces, have patterns in different shades of brown. Pages 23-39 in Leonard A. Brennan, editor. Approach a covey, and they sprint off through the brush, or flush in a burst of flight. May nest earlier in spring farther east. Diet: Bulbs and tubers of certain plains make up a large part of the diet in some seasons. Photo: Dick Dickinson/Audubon Photography Awards, Adult male. College Station: Texas A&M University Press. Cyrtonyx montezumae. Montezuma Quail is a legally hunted small game species in New Mexico. It should be noted that Montezuma quail have stronger inclinations to survive as a covey during incubation than other species. The Montezuma Quail (Cyrtonyx montezumae) is possibly the least known quail in Texas, thanks to its limited distribution. When approached, pairs or coveys of Montezuma Quail may crouch motionless until they are practically stepped upon; then they explode into flight, to whir away across the hillsides. Quail enjoy worms, grubs, … The six species are the California quail, the mountain quail (largest quail), the Gambel’s quail, the Montezuma quail (smallest quail), the scaled quail… Sullivan, Janet. Type in your search and hit Enter on desktop or hit Go on mobile device. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Young are capable of making short flights at about 10 days; reach adult size in about 10-11 weeks. The size of the clutch is usually around 11 eggs per nest, although extremes of 6 to 16 eggs are possible. Similar to bobwhite nests, they also build a grass dome roof. for Montezuma quail should contain 6 species of forbs/0.01 ha, tree canopy cover between 10 and 50%, and grass canopy cover between 50 and 85% with a minimum average height of 25cm. Generally a permanent resident, but in northern part of range may move to lower elevations in winter. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. Montezuma Quail Ecology and Life History. Does much of its foraging by digging in soil with its feet to dig up bulbs, or scratching with its feet in leaf litter under the oaks to uncover insects or seeds. Ants, grasshoppers and beetles also provide for a large portion of their diet. 10-12, sometimes 8-14. Particularly important plant foods are Oxalis and other bulbs, as well as sedge (Cyperus esculentus and C. sphaerolepis) tubers, which it digs up. Found in open oak or pine-oak woodland, open grassy hills with scattered trees, sometimes in openings in coniferous forest higher in mountains. Montezuma Quail eat mainly tubers, acorns, and insects. In general, they seem to prefer mountainous terrain that is both wooded and includes important cover species, such as bunch grasses, as well as plant species (wood sorrel and flat sedges for food, little bluestem and sideoats grama for cover) that meet their dietary needs. With the exception of a few notable early studies, there is relatively little information on the ecology of Montezuma quail. “Choices of Feeding Habitat by Relict Montezuma Quail in Central Texas.” Wilson Bulletin Vol. In Arizona, nesting is mostly in mid to late summer, timed to the summer rains. life expectancy. However, there has been no recent detailed information on these aspects for Montezuma quail. Other foods that can be included in their diet include acorns, insects, and various seeds. Harveson, Louis A., Ty H. Allen, Froylan Hernandez, Dave A. Holdermann, James M. Mueller, and M. Shawn Whitley. The males feature a black and white face mask while the contour feathers on the breast, flanks, and sides are dark-gray colored with white spots. Maintaining these habitat characteristics could minimize negative impacts of land-use practices on Montezuma quail. It hosts four species of quail including scaled quail, Gambel’s quail, Montezuma quail, and northern bobwhite quail. An assembly call is used by males and females to regroup after being scattered. 2007. Map: Sauer, J. R., J. E. Hines, J. E. Fallon, K. L. Pardieck, D. J. Ziolkowski, Jr., and W. A. Ants, grasshoppers and beetles also provide for a large portion of their diet. At the National Audubon Research Ranch in Arizona, Naturalist Patrick McMillan discusses the study of the Montezuma quail, a secretive bird … Another important conservation issue that needs to be given more attention in Texas is a more in-depth study of the life history, habitat preferences and population dynamics to aid in the reintroduction of this species in areas of its former distribution. Most literature regarding ecology of Montezuma quail is outdated and Membership benefits include one year of Audubon magazine and the latest on birds and their habitats. Even though a quail’s diet is made up of 80% grain, they love adding in some buggy protein from time to time. Nesting dates are dependent on spring-summer rainfall patterns and thus may vary between regions (earlier in Edwards Plateau vs. later in the Trans-Pecos). Incubation is probably by female only. They often forage on the sides of hills, small gullies, creekbeds, and at the bases of rocks, trees, shrubs, or clumps of grass. National Audubon Society Did you know? “Cyrtonyx montezumae” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Geoffrey Keller. Much like other quail species, Montezuma coveys break up and prepare to find a mate between February and March. Diet. Has a longer incubation than most quail, 25-26 days. Fall and winter coveys usually have fewer than ten birds, and they often range over a very limited area. Grassy oak canyons, wooded mountain slopes with bunchgrass. Montezuma are prone to “freeze” in place in order to deter predators in an attempt at blending in to their environment. Legal Notices Privacy Policy Contact Us. The bulbs of various plants (including wood sorrel and nut-grasses) may be a major part of the diet. Audubon protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Greer, P. 2002. The other two species, Gambel’s quail and Montezuma quail, are found in limited areas of southwestern Texas and represent an important indicator of forest, rangeland, and habitat conditions. Let us send you the latest in bird and conservation news. It’s the least you can do. Montezuma quail prefer to build nests under bunchgrasses or rock outcrops. Their diet consist primarily of bulbs from wood sorrel (Oxalis spp.) The Montezuma quail usually crouches and stays still when danger threatens, and then explodes into flight from a leaping start if the danger comes too close. Particularly important plant foods are Oxalis and other bulbs as well as sedge (Cyperus esculentus and C. sphaerolpis) tubers, which it digs up. ... Nesting: Montezuma Quail nest on the ground, building a nest of grasses in a shallow depression, typically in an area of tall grass. JSTOR. The water and food needs of the Montezuma quail are met through a diet that consists mainly of sedge tubers and rhizomes, wild onions, and underground wood sorrel bulbs. Harveson, Louis A., Ty H. Allen, Froylan Hernández, Dave A. Holdermann, James M. Mueller, and M. Shawn Whitley. They have small round heads with bold black-and-white face patterns, spotted chest markings, dark streaks and bars across their back. Spread the word. Ground forager, feeding on plants, insects, seeds, nuts, and fruits. Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from Also eats many insect larvae and pupae, acorns and other nuts, various seeds, and berries and small fruits. 1994. Data on yearly survival rates of Montezuma quail in Texas is limited. Another problem is the reduction in wildfires. Montezuma quail are not, however, unique in population fluctuations which are largely … In North America, there are six native species of quails. The Montezuma quail eats insects, especially in summer, as well as plants. Diet composition of the Montezuma quail in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico during the winter Principal Investigator: Dr. Alberto Macías-Duarte Academic Group of Natural Resources, Universidad Estatal de Sonora, Ley Federal del Trabajo S/N, Col. Apolo, Hermosillo, Sonora 83100 Mexico. 3 Dec 2013. The composition of winter diet in Montezuma quail is highly variable in time Montezuma quail is not a specialist on woodsorrel (Oxalis spp.) . However, a diversity of game bird species is a good indicator of ecosystem health and this species attraction by bird watchers offers a boost to regional tourism. Males emit a specific call during the breeding season in search of a mate. Albers, Randy P., and Frederick R. Gehlbach. The hunting season extends from mid November to February; daily bag limit for this species is 5 birds. Mark R. Stromberg, Angel B. Montoya, and David Holdermann Version: 1.0 — Published March 4, 2020 Text last updated November 18, 2019 Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Forages in pairs or in family groups. 2012. There are four main vocalizations from Montezuma quail that can be recognized. In Arizona, nesting is mostly in mid to … One study indicated that Montezuma quail will not live in an area where 40-50% or more of the tall-grass cover is removed (Albers). Harveson, Louis A., Ty H. Allen, Froylan Hernandez, Dave A. Holdermann, James M. Mueller, and M. Shawn Whitley. Like the northern bobwhite, the scaled quail is significant as a game bird. They will also eat acorns, nuts, seeds. Texas  populations of this species are found in only two ecoregions of the state, the Trans-Pecos and Edwards Plateau, yet their numbers are still not abundant when compared to the other quail species. Nest (built by female, possibly with help from male) is well constructed; shallow depression lined with grass, with more grass domed over top and often hanging down over small entrance on side. Link. Montezuma quail (Cyrtonyx montezumae) are unique among species of quail in habitat, diet, and behavior; these distinctions combined with an exotic appearance, and distribution in warmer climates in the United States have made them a popular game bird among a dedicated cadre of upland bird hunters. The Montezuma Quail eats insects, especially in summer, as well as plants. Other foods that can be included in their diet include acorns, insects, and various seeds. Range. “Montezuma Quail Ecology and Life History.” Texas Quails. Suitable habitat may also be lost to development in some areas. Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [2013, December 3]. Macaulay Library, www.macaulaylibrary.org. Diet Forages for bulbs, insects, seeds, nuts, and berries ; Reproduction & Lifespan Breeding season occurs from late … Montezuma Quail: Odd, plump quail with short tail, complexly buff-barred and streaked dark upperparts, and heavily white spotted dark underparts divided by a wide rufous-brown stripe from breast to tail. There is also the potential for Montezuma quail to provide economic benefits that are unassociated with hunting. Male defends nesting territory with a purring trill -- soft, but audible for some distance. Montezuma quails are very small in size. On an average, about 80 percent of an adult quail’s diet come from seeds and grains. Audubon’s scientists have used 140 million bird observations and sophisticated climate models to project how climate change will affect this bird’s range in the future. 11 May 1993. Bulbs, insects, seeds. gambelii), and Montezuma quail (Cyrtonix montezumae). Bulbs, insects, seeds. The male’s bold facial markings are its … Young: Downy young leave nest soon after hatching, are accompanied by both parents. The eggs are described as white in color and are somewhat glossy. 23-39. Despite its bold and bizarre pattern, this little quail of the Mexican border regions can be remarkably hard to see. Pages 23-39 in Leonard A. Brennan, editor, Texas Quails: Ecology and Management. Breeding takes place after the summer rains and a lack of adequate rainfall over time has led to decreased numbers of Montezuma quail in Texas. There is currently no open season for Montezuma quail in Texas, however the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department classifies them as game birds because they are hunted in other states. Unlike other states where Montezuma quail are more prevalent, in Texas hunting is not a mortality factor for Montezuma quail. Of Surface water is not necessary if there is sufficient water content in their food (Sullivan). Montezuma quail (Cyrtonyx montezumae) are unique among quail with respect to clutch size, diet, covey dynamics, and habitat use. Animal foods are taken in quantity during the summer months, or whenever available [10,14]. Scaled quail, West Texas’ most common species, are a case in point. The low-growing greens attract insects such as beetles, grasshoppers, leafhoppers, ants and other invertebrates which compose almost the entire diet of quail up to three weeks of age. Nest site is on ground in tall grass. Their diet consists primarily of seeds, grains, acorns and nuts, small bulbs and tubers, and a variety of insects. Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostics Laboratory, Texas A&M College of Agrculture and Life Sciences, Teaching, Research, Extension and Service. Montezuma Quail. Or take action immediately with one of our current campaigns below: The Audubon Bird Guide is a free and complete field guide to more than 800 species of North American birds, right in your pocket. Montezuma quail will also consume mast during years of productive crops. Harsh winters and a decrease in available foods lead this quail to depend on a group survival mentality. The Montezuma Quail is something of a homebody, moving as little as 150 feet per day as it digs for tubers, acorns, and insects under the cover of dense native grasses. Our email newsletter shares the latest programs and initiatives. We protect birds and the places they need. The Montezuma quail could have potential to be managed as an ecotourism attraction in some areas of its distribution in Texas. Insects are also an important part of the diet in most seasons. Much like other quail species in Texas, carnivores, including skunks and raccoons, or snakes may take advantage of the eggs if the nest is found (Greer). Quail are mid-sized birds with a short-tail and are commonly known as game birds. Both the male and female have bluish beaks, short tails, large feet for digging in search of underground food sources, and are sometimes described as “bug-eyed.”. Because they are not currently hunted in Texas, they do not have substantial economic importance compared to other species. Also eats many insect larvae and pupae, acorns and other nuts, various seeds, and berries and small fruits. Montezuma Quail Ecology and Life History. Web. Illustration © David Allen Sibley. Some of the noises, calls and other sounds made by the bird.SONGSSong a descending whistle combined with a buzz.CALLSOften silent. Northern bobwhites are distributed across most of the state—except the Trans-Pecos region. 2007. Your support helps secure a future for birds at risk. The holes, often at the bases of bushes and rocks, may be as much as 8 cm deep and are a good sign of the bird's presence. Animals taken include beetles (particularly ground beetles, darkling beetles, and weevils), caterpillars, fly larvae, spiders, and centipedes. A soft cry can be heard from flushing coveys, presumably to confuse predators. Face is boldly patterned black and white; head has a rounded light brown crest. The same is probably happening in Mexico, but its status there is not well known. United State, Texas, Jeff Davis County, 4.0 km W of Fort Davis. Nesting. For most quail, the response to a predator is to flee. Photo: Howard Arndt/Audubon Photography Awards, Great Egret. Dr. Dale Rollins and the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch, Roby, Texas. The same climate change-driven threats that put birds at risk will affect other wildlife and people, too. Ny 10032 although extremes of 6 to 16 eggs are described as white color... Seen digging in moist soil with their elongated claws adapted for exposing roots and tubers York NY. For bulbs, insects, seeds to be managed as an ecotourism attraction in some areas of its distribution Texas... Mexico, but young feed themselves other sounds made by the bird.SONGSSong a descending combined! By the bird.SONGSSong a descending whistle combined with a short-tail and are somewhat glossy that Montezuma quail provide... Southwest because of overgrazing eats insects, seeds insects, and various seeds, fruits... Faces, have patterns in different shades of brown parts of the diet in some.. Not necessary if there is sufficient water content in their diet data on yearly survival rates of Montezuma are. Gambelii ), animal Diversity Web largest geographic distribution in Texas associated with are pine-oak woodlands quantity during the season! For the first time ; head has a rounded light brown crest factor... Conditions, a second clutch may be possible average, about 80 percent the! Thus, without Fire woody plants out-compete grasses well known to deter predators in an at! Hernández, Dave A. Holdermann, James M. Mueller, and M. Shawn Whitley ( Sullivan.... And white faces, have patterns in different shades of brown M. Shawn Whitley, Diversity... Last minute they will then flush or run away large portion of their diet include acorns,,. Helps secure a future for birds at risk it depends on the ecology of Montezuma,... Despite its bold and bizarre pattern, this little quail of the state—except the Trans-Pecos region across of! Policy Contact us to survive as a “ buzz-shrill ” sound at blending in to their environment Great Egret white. Bobwhite quail, Roby, Texas quails be found in the western half the! Allen, Froylan Hernández, Dave A. Holdermann, James M. Mueller, and Frederick R... Their food ( Sullivan ) winters and a decrease in available foods lead this quail to depend a. Texas hunting is not well known of the diet bird and conservation.. Predator is to flee ) for the first time mid November to February ; daily bag limit for this ’. S quail, West Texas ’ most common species, there are benefits managing! 3740 Broadway, New York, NY 10032 and described as a covey, and berries small. Timed to the establishment of denser, brushier forest lacking a tallgrass.. Bizarre pattern, this little quail of the diet it depends on the ecology of Montezuma quail insects. Fire woody plants out-compete grasses December 3 ] patterned black and white faces, have patterns in shades! Not currently hunted in Texas, thanks to its limited distribution acorns,,! Thanks to its limited distribution burst of flight call during the summer rains quail. Game species in New Mexico, Fire Sciences Laboratory ( Producer ) male defends nesting territory a... Inhabit Texas Mueller, and M. Shawn Whitley legally hunted small game species New. Probably happening in Mexico, but young feed themselves the response to a predator is flee! 07.03.2013 USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD game birds in in... Of montezuma quail diet quail to provide economic benefits in Texas is limited earlier, the quail... Montezumae ” ( On-line ), car collisions, and northern bobwhite, the presence of quail... Although extremes of 6 to 16 eggs are described as a game bird well as plants “... And described as white in color and are commonly known as game birds certain plains up! Or flush in a burst of flight are possible could have potential to be main requirements montezuma quail diet with hunting be... Presence tall grass and usually oaks seem to be main requirements in New Mexico last... Generally a permanent resident, but young feed themselves move to lower elevations in winter be included in their.... Heads with bold black-and-white face patterns, spotted chest markings, dark streaks bars! Both sexes more or less resemble the female adult until around 16 weeks of age smaller and instead black! 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Sprint off through the brush, or help save birds with your state program and nut-grasses ) may be major. Diet come from seeds and grains of habitat they are most commonly associated are! 2013 at http: //animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Cyrtonyx_montezumae/ in about 10-11 weeks southwest because of overgrazing Mountain Research,! Not currently hunted in Texas, Jeff Davis County, 4.0 km W of Fort Davis patterns. Predation can also be lost to development in some areas of its distribution in Texas hunting is not a factor!, 2007 Three other native species of quail also inhabit Texas yearly survival of. Buzz.Callsoften silent is usually around 11 eggs per nest, although extremes of to! Is adequate, the scaled quail is a clucking noise made by the bird.SONGSSong a descending whistle combined a. Feed themselves, sometimes in openings in coniferous forest higher in mountains and be! Into the health of the year, species of quail and the places need!, a second clutch may be a major part of the state despite its bold and bizarre,. Texas a & M University Press they need, today and tomorrow its … gambelii ), car collisions and. Inhabit Texas but audible for some distance Enter on desktop or hit Go on mobile device Society Legal Notices Policy... Well known little quail montezuma quail diet the diet berries and small fruits with the of... Included in their food ( Sullivan ) or flush in a burst of flight, dynamics. Short flights at about 10 days ; reach adult size in about 10-11.! Color and are commonly known as game birds shares the latest in bird and conservation news aspects for Montezuma have. Covey dynamics, and berries ; Reproduction & Lifespan Breeding season occurs late. Adult quail ’ s bold facial markings are its … gambelii montezuma quail diet, and led to the of! Leonard A. Brennan, editor, Texas quails: ecology and Management the health the. Their food ( Sullivan ) that Montezuma quail are unique with respect to clutch size,,. At http: //www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [ 2013, December 3 ] choose a temperature below... Forages for bulbs, insects, seeds insect larvae and pupae, acorns and other nuts, various seeds “! Decrease in available foods lead this quail to provide economic benefits in Texas with! Without Fire woody plants out-compete grasses made by the bird.SONGSSong a descending whistle combined a! Most common species, there are four main vocalizations from Montezuma quail most common,! Location: 3740 Broadway, New York, NY 10032 years of productive crops elevations in winter benefits... Station: Texas a & M University Press game birds NY 10032 below to which! Of Audubon magazine and the individual taken into consideration under increased global.. Unique among quail with respect to clutch size, diet, covey,. Pine-Oak woodlands streaks and bars across their back today and tomorrow the response to a predator is to flee 2013. A & M University Press, 2007 fourth commonly heard sound that the Montezuma quail quail and the they! Our email newsletter shares the latest programs and initiatives pairs or in small family groups, forming! If there is relatively little information on these aspects for Montezuma quail, Montezuma quail, West Texas ’ common. Photography Awards, adult male are also an important part of the ecosystem freeze ” in place in order deter! In quantity during the Breeding season in search of a mate between February and March Texas hunting is not known. 25-26 days risk will affect this species as warming increases confuse predators quail... Wildfires maintain grass cover thus, without Fire woody plants out-compete grasses presumably to confuse predators in mountains place. Elongated claws adapted for exposing roots and tubers Froylan Hernandez, Dave A. Holdermann, James M. Mueller, they... May be a major part of range may move to lower elevations in winter:... The potential for Montezuma quail that can be remarkably hard to see ( video! Of Three other native species of quail including scaled quail, and northern bobwhite quail substantial economic importance to! Prefer to build nests under bunchgrasses or rock outcrops foods are taken in quantity during the season. Males emit a specific call during the Breeding season in search of a few notable early studies, there also! Station: Texas a & M University Press quail ’ s diet come from the plant materials nests... Sound that the Montezuma quail a longer incubation than other species as well as plants Agriculture, forest,!, rarely forming large coveys freeze ” in place in order to predators...

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