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Eurasian Woodcock - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Cristian Mihai
Comana (GR), Romania, 25 March 2018
Scolopax rusticola


Photo © by IanF
Seaton Common, Seaton Carew, UK8 December 2010


  • 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


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


This is a monotypic species[1].


Moist woodlands and bogs.


Photo © by Pluvius
Killard Nature Reserve, County Down, Northern Ireland, 25 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.


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.


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  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Swain, H. D. (1984) The Observer's Book of Birds' Eggs. Warne ISBN 0723200602
  3. Wikipedia contributors. (2019, March 30). Eurasian woodcock. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 06:54, April 15, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Eurasian_woodcock&oldid=890167778
  4. Chandler, R. (2009). Shorebirds of North America, Europe, and Asia: A photographic guide. Princeton.
  5. Howell, S.N.G., Lewington, I. & Russell, W. (2014) Rare Birds of North America. Princeton Univ. Press
  6. Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Eurasian Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/53860 on 10 April 2019).

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