Central Boulevard Students Raise and Release Quail

Central Boulevard Students Raise and Release Quail photo

The students in Erin Austin’s first-grade class at Bethpage’s Central Boulevard Elementary School delved into a hands-on, ecological adventure through a citizen science class project involving Northern bobwhite quail, a species native to the area. This marks the second straight year that Austin’s class has completed the assignment in conjunction with the Islip-based Seatuck Environmental Association.

The adventure started on May 1 with a 25-day incubation and observation period. Once the seven quail eggs hatched, the students were tasked with maintaining optimal temperatures inside the brooder, in addition to providing food and water. 

The experience culminated on June 15 with a class trip to the Suffolk County Environmental Center at the Scully Estate in Islip. During the trip, the group hiked through a salt marsh and examined microorganisms in the pond behind Scully Mansion before releasing the quail into their natural habitat. 

The interactive project gave the students an up-close look at the stages of the quail’s life cycle. They also gleaned the importance of the species’ impact on the local environment, as Northern bobwhite quail eat ticks, which were at a record high last year.