An Eastern Shore farm partnered with Washington College to manage native grasslands for wildlife

Chino Farms is a working farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore that has committed a third of its land to native habitat for wildlife such as the northern bobwhite. See how researchers from Washington College Center for Environment & Society have helped bring back this popular bird.

In 1999, Chino Farms in Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, turned land that had been used for row crops into 228 acres of rare, native grassland. Now part of Washington College Center for Environment and Society’s Chester River Field Research Station, the grassland provides excellent habitat for species such as the northern bobwhite quail, which has seen declines over the past several decades.

  • Produced by Will Parson
  • Additional footage by Dan Small/Washington College
  • Music/Audio: "A Certain Lightness" by Blue Dot Sessions via Free Music Archive

Comments (5)

Jean Ochrzcin
May 18, 2021

I haven’t heard a bobwhite in Southern Maryland in well over twenty years.  I’ve just recently set up a small bird feeder in the only tree out front of my apartment and have been watching the birds and trying to identify what was out there - I’m a complete novice.  Well this really different looking bird was pecking on the ground about a month ago.  I immediately thought that’s a bobwhite, got super excited, and got on my computer to look it up.  I found a good picture, but by the time I came back to look at him again and double check; he was gone.  Probably a plover I thought; I have difficulties identifying them.  Well the very next morning, I saw the same bird again, looked very closely at the white stripes on his head and said no that’s a bobwhite.  The next morning, I heard his call over and over right from my front sidewalk where he had been feeding.  He has been back nearly every single day for three weeks now. 

I can’t begin to tell you how exciting this is to me.  I’ve watched him scratch the ground, stretch his wings, fluff his feathers, and wiggle his tail feathers, which believe me is absolutely adorable.  I’ve watched him call over and over, fly off, chase off a mourning dove, perch on the top my car and sit on the roof of the shed out back just calling his fool head off.

I don’t know if your program had anything to do with what I’m seeing, but I cannot adequately explain in words the sheer joy of watching this guy day in and out.  I feel like I’m one of the luckiest people in Saint Mary’s County MD and it’s all because of this little bundle of feathers.

Dave S
January 28, 2021

This is one of the saddest wildlife losses I have experienced. I grew up in the country along the Ohio River and would often see coveys of quail pass through our back yard. I would love to see these brought back

Katie H
July 14, 2019

I live in rural eastern n c. I was so surprised this morning when I was greeted with the haunting song of a bobwhite in my wooded backyard. Hadn’t been gifted with this solo since early childhood. Made me stop…get silent…listen…savor what I thought was lost.

Helen S
July 08, 2019

I came to the eastern shore every summer as a child, and woke up to the sounds of the Bob White quail every morning. I have returned as an adult, purchased a home in Betterton, and miss hearing that call. I hope to hear it again someday outside my window.

Samuel B Pletenik
March 18, 2019

Sounds great I hope everything works out fine

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