American Woodcock

photo by Phil Swanson

Scolopax minor
L 11″ (28 cm).

Song or calls:
Common call is nasal “peent.”

Description: Sexes similar. A very chunky bird. Short-necked; short legs; long yellow bill; barred crown; and large eyes set high in a large head. Mottled brown above and buffy below.

Behavior: When flushed, flies up abruptly and wings make a twittering sound. Elaborate mating display performed by male.

american woodcock
Habitat: Migrants associated with floodplain forests with scattered trees, and where the land is poorly drained leaving the soil moist and easily probed into for earthworms.

Where in Nebraska: Uncommon to occasional spring and fall migrant, and rare summer resident in eastern Nebraska.
Breeding records exist for the state, and displaying birds seen near Grand Island.

Fun Facts: The nickname of the American Woodcock is “timberdoodle”.

American Woodcock- photo by Phil Swanson American Woodcock - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)