Upland Game Bird Information
The following information is provided by the California Department of Fish and Game Region 4 Office.

Waterhole counts were made at three guzzlers and two springs in the Panoche Hills (Fresno County) between July 3 and 14, 2000. Weather conditions during the count were unseasonably cool, providing fair response of birds coming into water. Habitat conditions were good. Weather conditions this past year were near-normal rainfall, warm winter and a cool, wet spring. All birds appeared to be in excellent condition, and most broods were over six weeks old. All broods less than five weeks old (late hatch) had only one chick per brood, except a single brood of 11 that was only a few days old. This year's production in the Panoche area appears to be poor with a low carryover of adult birds. The hunting season is likely to be poor due to the poor productions and small population available.

Old/Young Ratio
Av. Brood Size
Sample Size
Calif. Quail
0.8 (1.9)
4.5 (6.5)
192 (200)
0.3 (.09)
4.0 (9.0)
94 (56)

( ) = 1999

Preliminary data from the annual desert upland brood counts suggest we will be having another holdover year for chukar and quail in eastern Kern County. Although not all sites have been counted, it appears chukar production will be around 1.4 young birds per adult, a slight rise from the 0.6 experienced in 1999. Valley quail are not faring as well as last year with productivity at the sites counted so far, down to 2.9 from 7.0 in 1999. The majority of the sites remaining to be counted will likely increase the overall quail count.

Annual pheasant brood counts were conducted on the Salt Slough and China Island units of the North Grasslands Wildlife Area. Extra effort was placed on the Salt Slough Unit survey this year (120 miles) to help evaluate the extensive effort expended on producing suitable brood habitat. The survey results indicate average productions on the unit. Average complete brood size was 5.6 chicks at seven weeks of age. Eighty-two percent of the hens had broods, and there was an average of 1.1 chicks per mile. It was noted that the managed brood habitat comprised 21% of the survey route, but held 54% of the broods observed. On China Island, four surveys were made, totaling only 28 miles. On this unit, 100% of the hens had broods, and there was an average of 3.1 chicks per mile.

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