North Hempstead releases quail into wild to combat tick population

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PORT WASHINGTON -

The Town of North Hempstead released a group of northern bobwhite quail into the wild to help control the tick population.

The town has been raising the quail since they were hatched last year. The birds, which eat ticks, were released Tuesday at Hempstead Harbor Trail and about 200 acres of land across the road in Port Washington.

The goal is to tackle the tick population without chemical pesticides.

Scientists say the quail like eating bugs and ticks.

"Quail live on the ground," says biologist Eric Powers. "They don't fly that much, and so any sort of bug that is living on the ground is what they target and they're going to want to eat those bugs."

So far this year the town has released 70 quail into the wild.

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