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Archive for April 9, 2011

American Woodcock

There is no spring ritual that I enjoy more than the aerial courtship display of the American woodcock. Even with most of the field covered with several inches of snow, the familiar “peent” issued forth from behind the shrubbery at dusk. After calling 42 times (yes, I counted) the male woodcock soared up into the sky in a very wide circle, twittering away with his wings, up, up, up until he “chipped” his way down, zig-zagging dramatically as he approached the ground. Moments later, the peenting resumed. No female woodcock who witnessed this display could possibly fail to be impressed. (Photo by Mary Sue Henszey)