bobwhite quail

(all photos via Missouri Department of Conservation)

2012 was a rough year for Missouri farmers battling severe drought and extreme heat, but some species of wildlife did well – specifically, turkeys, bobwhite quail and honeybees.  As part of St. Louis Public Radio’s series “A Good Year,” Marshall Griffin talked with a number of people who observed the three species during the long, hot summer.

Wild Turkeys

Mo. Dept. of Conservation

This summer’s devastating drought and heat wave actually benefited some of Missouri’s native birds, in particular the bobwhite quail.

Bobwhite quail build their nests on the ground, and the hot and dry weather from both this summer and last provided better conditions for incubation.  Max Alleger is a wildlife ecologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).  He says the bobwhite quail population took a big hit in 2008 due to record-setting rainfall, as it was hard for them to keep their eggs warm on wet ground.