The behavior of 15 immature American woodcock (Philohela minor) was studied in central Maine during the summers of 1969 and 1970 using radiotelemetry. The monitored birds used a variety of nocturnal sites including old fields, bogs, powerlines, highway medians, woods roads, and fore clearings. Old fields were occupied more often than any other type of opening. Second growth-hardwoods, alders, hardwood-conifers, and conifers were utilized as diurnal cover. Diurnal locations of radio-equipped woodcock averaged 15 m from major breaks in the forest canopy. Four birds were monitored continuously during the day and night to detennine periods of activity. Although the birds were active throughout the day, very little activity was recorded after they moved to nocturnal sites. No apparent difference was found in the daily patterns of movement between immature male and female woodcock. Crepuscular movements between diurnal covers and nocturnal areas averaged 332 m. A composite summer range for the 15 woodcock during 183 woodcock-days was 1060 hectares. The data suggest that immature woodcock are quite mobile during the summer and utilize most of the forest openings occurring within 1-3 km of good nesting habitat. Most of these openings are also used for singing grounds by males in the spring.
Additional publication details
Summer behavior of immature radio-equipped woodcock in central Maine