Scolopax minor

The first of three American Woodcocks seen on the Brooklyn Bird Club’s Woodcock walk in Green-Wood last weekend.Same bird from the other side. A dozen people walk by stealthily…. The sun came out. But it’s at dusk that these non-shore shorebirds do their magic. The males begin to vocalize repeatedly with a peent/beent call. Then they fly into the air, to descend with a twittering made by their wings. The ladies are impressed by these displays. The whole song and dance can barely be seen in the gloaming, but it can be heard, and we shall listen Sunday night (rain-checked from the original schedule).This one was just about two feet away from the one above, but harder to see. The leaf had just blown onto the bird’s bill before I snapped this. Since then, we had a storm, and in the last couple of days dozens of these birds have been spotted around the city. They’ve no place to hide. Just goes to show you how many of them are here, and how well hidden they usually are. But, exposed to predators like the city’s plague of feral cats, and food hard to get to in the frozen ground (they use those long bills to probe the soil), this unveiling can’t be good for them.

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