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Eurasian Woodcock

From Opus

Photo by IanF Harwood, Teesdale, County Durham, UK, June 2006
Photo by IanF
Harwood, Teesdale, County Durham, UK, June 2006
Scolopax rusticola


[edit] Identification


  • Red brown patterned above
  • Buff below
  • Black bars on head
  • Iris on sides of head
  • Flesh coloured base to bill with dark tip
  • Grey-pink legs
  • Males larger

[edit] Distribution

Photo by IanFSeaton Common, Seaton Carew, December 2010
Photo by IanF
Seaton Common, Seaton Carew, December 2010

Locally in Eurasia. Formally casual vagrant to eastern United States. Only one 20th century record in New Jersey.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1].

[edit] Habitat

Moist woodlands and bogs.

[edit] Behaviour

Photo by PluviusKillard Nature Reserve, County Down, Northern Ireland, December 2010
Photo by Pluvius
Killard Nature Reserve, County Down, Northern Ireland, December 2010

Mainly crepuscular. Woodcocks are most often to be seen on summer evenings, just as the light is dying, performing their territorial 'roding' flight. Occasionally they may be flushed from woodland during the winter, when they fly off rapidly, twisting through the trees, rather like a gamebird. As darkness falls they will leave their day-time hiding place and fly to streams, ditches and boggy areas to feed.

[edit] Breeding

Ground nesters, in damp woodlands. The nest is well concealed in the undergrowth. Nesting begins in March when four eggs are laid; they vary from creamy-white to pale olive with grey or reddish-brown spots and splodges.There is normally a second clutch.

[edit] Vocalisation

Listen in an external program

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2012. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2012. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at
  2. The Observer's Book of Birds' Eggs ISBN 0723200602
  3. Wikipedia

[edit] External Links


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