Town of North Hempstead raising quails to battle ticks

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NORTH HEMPSTEAD -

To wage a battle against ticks and the diseases they carry, the Town of North Hempstead is eschewing chemicals in favor of quails.

Samantha Hollinde and her coworker Alan Ginsberg are tending to 36 quail eggs for the town. They have been turning the eggs by hand, monitoring incubation temperatures and making sure that the humidity stays just right.

The painstaking process has one purpose: the birds are known for feasting on ticks.

"It's a way of combating any kind of disease caused by ticks using nontoxic methods, doing it the way nature intended us to," says North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth.

The eggs are due to hatch this weekend, and live-streaming video will capture the quails as they make their debut.

After they all hatch, the birds will spend time maturing at Caleb Smith State Park before they are released in a wooded area near North Hempstead Beach Park.

The quails are expected to start their tick-eating mission in August.

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