Our friends at Black Swamp Bird Observatory in Ohio have been sharing really cool bird facts with their Facebook and Twitter followers over the past couple of weeks.
The most recent #Birdknowin is all about that stout and comical looking American woodcock. It’s so informative and interesting that we wanted to share it with you. Besides BSBO said we could share it – really they did!
This week’s BirdKnowins reveals some secrets of the funky and fascinating American Woodcock!
Like nature’s example of Mr. Potato Head, American Woodcocks appear to be birds made of spare parts. A plump, round body, very short legs, a small head with bulging eyes, and a bill that seems to long for its face, they still somehow manage to look amazing!
Members of the sandpiper family, woodcocks are shorebirds that don’t live on or near the shore. Instead, they prefer moist, shrubby fields and young forests where they probe the earth for earthworms and insects. And that fabulously long bill has a flexible tip that helps it probe more effectively, essentially “feeling” for prey, and snapping shut when it senses some juicy morsel!
American Woodcocks are known for the spectacular courtship flight, or “Sky Dance” of the male. He begins on the ground with a series of loud, nasal, “PEENTS,” before spiraling up into the sky, then slowly drifting down in a waffling flight accompanied by a soft twittering sound. That twittering sound isn’t vocal! The sound is made by modified, narrow outer primaries—feathers that “sing!”
Please feel free to share BSBO Bird Knowins with your friends! (It makes us so happy when you do that!)
(See! They said we could share it!)