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Populations of red imported fire ants (RIFA; Solenopsis invtcta) have spread rapidly throughout the southeastern United States. RIFA, directly or indirectly, negatively affect many wildlife species, and northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) appear to be particularly susceptible. We examined the effect of exposure to different numbers of RIFA for 15 and 60 seconds on body mass and survival of captive northern bobwhite chicks. Compared to unexposed birds, survival of chicks was reduced with exposure to as few as 50 RIFA for 60 seconds, or 200 RIFA for 15 seconds, and body mass was lower in chicks exposed to 200 RIF A for 60 seconds. Our results support the hypothesis that quail populations can be adversely affected by direct exposure to RIFA.