Because American woodcock (Scolopax minor) populations have been declining, we attached radio transmitters to woodcock at coastal plain sites to determine if survival during winter was involved in the decline. Sites were in Georgia (1982-84, 1989-92), South Carolina (1988-89), and Virginia (1991-92). Survival rates were not different between age or sex classes. Survival rates differed (P = 0.003) among years. Daily survival rates were lowest (P = 0.030, S = 0.987) during 1982-83 in Georgia and highest (P = 0.004, S = 0.999) during 1990-91 in Georgia than in the other years and locations combined (S = 0.996). We attributed all mortality to raptors and mammals. Compared with other periods of the year, winter was a time of low survival for woodcock. Lower survival rates were possibly a cause of population decline.
Additional publication details
Survival rates of American woodcock wintering along the Atlantic coast