As the sun sets on a northern Midwest forest, an American Woodcock walks slowly from the cover of the forest to a nearby clearing. Then, the woodcock takes off on a courtship flight. At the apex of its flight, the woodcock circles, then descends in a slow spiral, putt-putting like a tiny car about to run out of gas. Learn more about American Woodcock conservation at Timberdoodle.org.
American Woodcock - Timberdoodle
Written by Bob Sundstrom
This is BirdNote!
[Display sounds of an American Woodcock]
As the sun sets on a northern Midwest forest, we hear a most peculiar sound. [Repeat flight twittering/chirps of American Woodcock]
It’s an American Woodcock, aloft on a courtship flight. At sunset, the male woodcock walks slowly on short legs from the cover of the forest to a nearby clearing. After a few sharp calls [“Peent” calls], the woodcock takes flight. As it spirals upward, slim, stiff feathers at its wingtips create a curious twittering. [A bit of the twittering] At the apex of its flight, the woodcock circles, then descends in a slow spiral, putt-putting like a tiny car about to run out of gas.
As it lands, we can see in the last light its beautiful orange belly. With a slender bill half as long as its body, the woodcock specializes in eating earthworms. The male will display at dawn and dusk for more than two months each spring.
The woodcock’s odd looks and sounds have earned it many colorful nicknames, including Labrador twister, bogsucker, mudsnipe, skydancer, pop-eyed shot-dodger, and timberdoodle.
To assure the future of the timberdoodle, the Woodcock Task Force is restoring brushy, young forest habitats where the birds can thrive.
[Today’s show brought to you by the Lufkin Family Foundation.] I'm Mary McCann.
[Repeat flight twittering/chirps of American Woodcock]
Call of the American Woodcock provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by G.F. Budney.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2013 Tune In to Nature.org April 2013 Narrator: Mary McCann
ID# was AMWO-02-2008-06-18-KPLU SotB-AMWO-01-2011-04-23