American Woodcocks, Timberdoodles, and Bog Suckers


All the common names are comical for these aberrant shorebirds, but their displays are magical in the moonlight of those first warm evenings in spring.

11–12 March – American Woodcock displays in Payne County

Thanks to the sharp ears of Dr. Scott Loss, we have a new location in Payne County to enjoy the brief spring courtship displays of the American Woodcock. This is on Richmond Rd., just east of its intersection with Country Club Rd.  Richmond Rd. is in good shape at this section, and there seems to be light traffic there in the evening with ample room to pull over.

From left: Eric Duell, Jon Harris, Fidel Atuo, Tim O'Connell, Nick Jaffe, and Caitlin Laughlin - ready to be wowed by some American Woodcocks.

From left: Eric Duell, Jon Harris, Fidel Atuo, Tim O’Connell, Nick Jaffe, and Caitlin Laughlin – ready to be wowed by some American Woodcocks.

AMWOsite

The show started both nights with peenting between 7:45 and 7:48 and aerial displays beginning around 7:55 and concluding around 8:20 pm CDT. It’s really just that window between 7:55 and 8:05 that it’s light enough to see them in the air.

This compilation from 3/11/15 includes scolding Northern Mockingbird, background dogs and cattle, the piping whistle of Strecker’s chorus frog (lifer frog for me!), the querulous wheah? of Spotted Towhee, singing Field Sparrows (including finchlike “long song”), and others.  There are also owls: Barred, Great Horned, and a tantalizing series of very faint screeches toward the end of the recording that I suspect to have been at least two Long-eared Owls. (Skip to 6:38 to listen to the putative owls, soft in the background between dog barks.)

3:11:15 American Woodcock displays 1

This one from 3/12/15 includes a very close Song Sparrow tseet! call plus some Northern Cardinals, American Robins, and Canada Geese:

3:12:15 American Woodcock displays 2

Some great coyote sounds out there, too!

3:11:15 coyote chorus

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