What did we learn from #JerseyDoodles: Pilot Season?

This week, I’ve left the field to attend #AOSSCO17 (The joint meeting of American Ornithological Society and Society of Canadian Ornithologists). Last night I shared the 2016 field season results as the poster session. (When I have the video link I will share that as well.)


To increase participation and interest, I challenged viewers online and in person to identify which habitats pictured were the polluted and non-polluted. Most took the modified challenge of comparing the first two. Can you?


73% selected the upper/left image as polluted and 73% of respondents were incorrect.
That’s okay, as my results reveal, the woodcock don’t know either. That, or they don’t care.

No matter whether you look at presence-absence data over the entire 2016 season or you look at visits over 2 week intervals, there is no preference emerging in regard to the post-industrial history of sites when it comes to where male woodcock choose to display.

What does that mean?

Well, it means odds are just as good for finding woodcock on post-industrial habitat as it is non-industrial habitat for  woodcock in northern New Jersey. Woodcock do not perceive a difference in the quality of these two habitat types.

Now the next question whether the sites are actually different.  Will woodcock benefit from post-industrial habitat or are there unforeseen consequences? As I wrap up data collection from 2017 I can begin to uncover the answer.

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