We assessed supplemental feeding in a crossover design to determine its value in managing the dispersion and mortality of northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) in Roberts County, Texas Panhandle, during October–March 2000–2001, 2001–2002, and 2002–2003. Nontarget species made up 98% of feeder visits (n=152 visits in 480 hours of surveillance). The average home range (ha) on the fed site was 34% of that on the control site (95% CL=21–48%) in 2001–2002 and 63% (39–103%) in 2002–2003, suggesting that feeders localized coveys. Fall-spring survival estimates were 0.57 (0.40–0.73) on the fed site versus 0.72 (0.53–0.91) on the control site in 2001–2002; estimates were 0.24 (0.16–0.33) on the fed site versus 0.28 (0.22–0.34) on the control site in 2002–2003, indicating null effects of feeding on fall-spring survival. Apparent vulnerability of bobwhites to loss sources (avian or mammalian predators, other losses) was not affected by feeding. Based on our results, managers who wish to localize coveys could accomplish that objective using feeders; otherwise, food supplementation was a neutral management practice.
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