Nine female woodcock (Philohela minor) were radio-tagged in central Pennsylvania before fall migration to monitor premigratory and migratory movements. Within 15 days of departure, 5 of the birds moved 0.8 to 8.0 km from their normally used area, but the remaining 4 did not move. In 1973 five marked woodcock began migration between 30 November and 8 December. In 1974, four birds departed between 18 and 29 November. Departures coincided with high pressure centers approaching from the north and west or low pressure centers retreating to the north and east, or both. Eight of the 9 woodcock departed 2.5 or more hours after sunset and at least 7 left before midnight. Two hatching-year birds were tracked for up to 201 km SSW of the study area during 2 nights. Their air speeds (mean + SD) were 36 + 2 and 45 + 3 km/h.
Additional publication details
Some characteristics of fall migration of female woodcock