Woodcock Walks - March 22 and 29, 2014

7:00 pm at the Bird Center

Come join us for an easy walk. We will look for male American woodcock performing their spectacular courtship flight.

sketch of woodcock hen in grass

Once the sun has set and the light falls to a certain level, the male woodcock come out of the tall grass and scrub to perform.

He'll start with a "paint", long pause, "paint"... call. He will then fly, circling around until he is several hundred feet above the ground. Once he is over the point where he left the ground, he will plummet straight down emitting a chirping - chittering sound. At about fifty feet above the ground, he goes silent and lands back at the same spot he flew from. He will repeat this over and over again hoping to gain a females interest.

If you (and he) are really lucky you will get to see a female come out of the scrub. He will prance around her with his wings spread, held high and slightly forward while she decides whether he is right for her.

Why lucky? An American Woodcock researcher was heard to say... "This is the first time in twenty years of research, that I have seen the dance!"

The woodcock perform March through June.

This really is something everyone should see and hear at least once in their life.