Thursday, April 19, 2007


Last night I ended up working late, so I decided to head up to a local metropark after work to catch the courtship display of the American Woodcock, something I had yet to experience. I arrived about 8pm at the park, and waited around as twilight accumulated.

At 8:30, I heard my first peent calls. About four or five individual woodcocks were calling, and by 8:40, the calls became closer and closer together, about 4 seconds apart. Then at quarter to nine, I could hear the distinct whistling of the feathers of the male woodcocks as they took flight. I looked in vain to see them, but they quickly gain altitude and it was getting dark, so I headed back to my car. On the way back, I heard a woodcock calling nearby and then heard it take off. I craned my head to the sky looking for it, and then there it was, zooming back to the ground to again begin calling. What a treat!

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