• Outdoor Radio: The American Woodcock

    American Woodcock sits on a nest. /© Roy Pilcher

    The arrival of the American Woodcock is one of the exciting signs of spring in Vermont. Biologist Kent McFarland joined “The Mad Birders” on their annual Woodcock Walk in Moretown. Join the group as the sun goes down and darkness descends to learn about this bird’s amazing mating ritual and hear their unusual sounds as they display.

    Listen to the show



    Mad River Birders and the Outdoor Radio crew ready to find displaying American Woodcocks.

    Kent showed the group this American Woodcock wing from a bird that had been hit by a car. The three flight feathers at the end, which are reduced in size, make the whistling sound as the fly overhead displaying.

    This phenology from Vermont eBird shows that with a warm spring in 2016, observations peaked on March 22. They didn’t peak until April 8 during the cold spring of 2015, similar to this year.

    Outdoor Radio is produced in collaboration with Vermont Public Radio and is made possible by the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation.

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