Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Timberdoodle Dancing


Nature's mysteries are all around us, and many don't know it. Consider the American Woodcock. It is widely distributed in the Midwest, but because it is often active at night and migratory, most have never seen one. However, late February through March in Ohio are the perfect time. This is when the males perform their courtship dance at dusk. Find an open area with successional brush and marshy or soft ground. Listen for a distinctive "peeentt" sound (you can hear it in the video below). Then watch for the bird to take flight, circling and climbing until it corkscrews back to earth.

 It's also, if you're interested, a great time to scout for these birds for the fall seasons. And a great excuse to get outside. You can even follow their migration live via satellite tags.