American Woodcock

I hadn’t heard an American woodcock call for years until around the end of February when I’d go out in the evening to take orb pictures in the backyard.  Nasal “peent” calls came from our neighbor’s yard.


My best friend took her 7-year-old granddaughter on a hike recently,

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and they were lucky enough to get close to an American woodcock. Woodcocks are secure in their camouflage and usually don’t fly when approached.

Therese was kind enough to share these pictures.

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  Male woodcocks give nasal “peent” calls from the ground at dusk and dawn, and slowly rotate as they call. They usually call from more open areas that have damp/wet areas. After calling, the male flies wide circles, as he spirals up and up, giving twittering calls as he goes. Next he spirals almost straight down,  giving “kissing” calls, and spiraling out at the last second to land and then begins calling again.

 They nest on the ground. If a nest is threatened, the adult will do a hurt-wing display to distract the predator/intruder away from the nest. My son was talking to a turkey hunter one year. The hunter had gotten too close to a woodcock nest. The parent started doing a hurt-wing display to attract him from the nest.  He also witnessed all the young doing a hurt-wing too. I would’ve like to see that!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Those are great pictures of a bird we hardly ever see! It’s nice to know that such things are in the forest waiting to be discovered.


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