Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Town Board members, Ranger Eric Powers and dozens of residents joined together this week at the Hempstead Harbor Woods to say “Goodbye and Good Luck!” to dozens of Northern Bobwhite Quail as the birds were released into the forest to combat ticks.
“Quail release day here in North Hempstead has evolved into a much-anticipated event that brings the whole community together,” said Bosworth. “It gives us a wonderful opportunity to educate residents about the diseases carried by ticks and about how we can use natural predators to combat ticks, such as the Northern Bobwhite Quail.”
Powers added, “This is such an amazing educational tool to teach students and the community at large that it was our fault for decimating the quail population in the first place by letting our house cats outside, but that we can also do good things to help bring them back. And bring them back we should since they are our major defense against ticks.”
The Town has raised Northern Bobwhite Quail for the past three years to help several of the its parks combat ticks without the use of pesticides. The quails were hatched and raised for several weeks inside a brooder at the “Yes We Can” Community Center in Westbury. Then the chicks were transferred to their new home at Clark Botanic Garden where they matured in a flight pen for another 6 weeks to 8 weeks.
Boy Scout Daniel Reilly of Troop 423 from Plainview-Old Bethpage built the quail flight pen as part of his Eagle Scout project.
The North Hempstead quail program is led by Ranger Powers of the Center for Environmental Education & Discovery (and host of the town’s nature program “Off the Trail.” Powers also works with dozens of schools across Long Island which set up incubators in their classrooms and raise the quail as part of their animal life cycle studies that teaches science, environmental studies and responsible stewardship. To join the spring-time Quail vs Ticks Study visit Ranger Eric’s website at www.YC2N.com.
For more information call the town’s 311 Call Center.
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