MDI Birds
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    American Woodcock / Scolopax minor

    : Breeds. mid Apr-July in open forest and old fields anywhere near moist soils where they can probe for earthworms. Gilbert Farm Road is an excellent place to hear singing males but the species is so widely distributed that almost any open area with a woods perimeter is likely to have at least one. Difficult to locate when silent combining near-perfect camouflage and a reluctance to flush.

    : but hard to detect mid-late Mar to early Apr with from late Feb, and again mid Oct-mid Nov with to early Dec.

    Miscellany: The crepuscular displays of male American Woodcock are worth witnessing, preferably on clear, warm evenings between mid Apr and early Jun. Beginning just before it gets dark (and again in the morning just before first light), the males fly or walk to their singing grounds in woods clearings, open ledges or anywhere where they have a clear take-off lane and enough space to watch for predators. At first they utter a series of nasal ‘peent' notes, rotating about 90 degrees after each call, and after a few such calls, the males take off with their wings giving a loud trilling sound. They ascend steeply in loose circular flight reaching several hundred feet in elevation at which point they begin a loud, vocal ‘chippering' which continues through the first part of their steep zig-zagging descent before they return silently to their take-off spot...and begin to ‘peent' again. Listen here.

    You can learn more about American Woodcock and see images here.

    Last Updated: February 12th, 2023


    1. 1. Gilbert Farm Road 44.407713349603, -68.325594389524