The Elusive Woodcock Arrives in Warner Parks


‘Skydancer’ Arriving Soon

The elusive woodcock is not often seen in the fields of Warner Parks, but it is heard right around Valentine’s Day every year. You’ll have to visit a most complex *ecotone in the Parks – the edge where the shorter, mowed grass meets the higher field weeds, ideally at dusk during a 45 degree drizzly rain, no less – and you just might experience the skydance of the American Woodcock. In case that’s too much to muster, you can also click here to view the spectacle.

Naturalist Note: Ecotone– a region of transition between two biological communities.

Here are a few fast facts about the American Woodcock:

  • They have 360 degree vision! Their eyes are monocular on the sides and binocular in the front.
  • Common names for the American Woodcock are Timberdoodle, Skydancer, Bogsucker and Mudsnipe.
  • Woodcocks are famous for their camouflage and elaborate skydance.
  • Their diet consists mostly of earthworms.
  • They have a flexible tip at the end of their beaks to probe the ground. And pick up said earthworms.
  • Woodcocks migrate to the coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi over winter.

Though not known as the lovebird, it just so happens the Woodcock courtship display takes places on and around Valentine’s Day in middle Tennessee each year. Love is in the air!

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