2016-04-08 / Community

Timberdoodles’ return a sign of spring

In early spring, just before dawn or just after sunset, if in an landscape of field and young forest, listen for the sounds of the American woodcock. This migratory bird is a sure sign of spring, but is not as obvious as the robin or the red-wing.

These woods-dwelling shorebirds, also known as timberdoodles or bog-suckers, begin to claim their territories about the middle of March. Over just a few weeks, the male woodcocks spiral high above the earth while creating a high-pitched twittering with its wing feathers. The display, soon cloaked by darkness, can last many seconds. Back on the ground, the woodcock repeats nasal “peent” notes as it prepares for another flight.

On April 7 and 8 at 7 p.m., Paul Dest leads a Woodcock Watch at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm in Wells. Registration is required at 646-1555. For more information, visit wellsreserve.org.

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