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American Woodcock feeding in the snow

January 4, 2011

Few FeederWatchers can count an American Woodcock under their feeders, but Claire Goldthwaite recently shared a few photos of her unusual find. Claire lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts, near the northern limits of the woodcock winter range. Following a recent snow, Claire saw this bird digging in the snow and leaf litter where she spreads bird seed.

American Woodcock in snow by Claire Goldthwaite

Soon a turkey strolled into the feeding area. According to Claire, “the turkey noticed the woodcock and got very upset – apparently turkeys hate woodcocks.  Who knew?  The turkey ran around very agitated and then entered a staring contest with the woodcock.  After a short time the woodcock blinked and got chased away.”

Wild Turkey vs. American Woodcock

The woodcock soon reappeared in a different, turkey-free area.

American Woodcock feeding in the snow.

January 28, 2011 update:

Karl and Judy Lukens of Cape May, New Jersey, recently submitted the following photo of a pair of American Woodcock feeding in the snow. For more information about woodcocks, visit the All About Birds species account.

American Woodcock photo by Karl Lukens.

One Comment
  1. November 7, 2011 12:46 pm

    What a beautiful bird! I ran into one today in NYC, on Lexington Ave. & 43rd St. He was out of sorts, looked like he’d crashed into the window of the deli he was crouched out in front of. About the size of a small hen, the Woodcock had a bloody beak and wanted to be in the corner, with his back facing the street. I brought some water and poured it over his beak, then tried to get the Woodcock to drink a few sips. He had a few sips of water, and after a few minutes, he flew away! I hope he will make it. I read that Woodcocks often fly into plate glass windows on their southward migration, perhaps thinking them to be rivers or streams they use to navigate. A lovely bird! So nice and round, with beautiful markings.

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