Why Woodcock?

The American Woodcock is already established as a sentinel or bio-indicator for many other species.

The eastern population  of American Woodcock has been declining at almost 2% per year since 1968 when constant-effort monitoring began.

Many other species which are far more difficult to detect such as Golden-winged Warbler, Eastern Hognose, New England Cottontail, and Ruffed Grouse have similar habitat requirements.

The courting male woodcock  is an obvious spectacle.  He is both noisy and flighty. Once you know  what to look for a hormonal male woodcock is unmistakable. After the sun sinks, he begins with very persistent “peents” breaking through a chorus of spring peepers.  After warming up, he launches from the woods where he waits to an open field  and then he spirals up  in the air with a blustery sound like that of a child attempting the trumpet. At the greatest height against the darkening sky,  he zigs and zags back  to  the ground, darting back into the woods to proudly  proclaim “peent!” before beginning again.

 

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