Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Spring acrobatics of the woodcock

It appears that the spring acrobatic flights of the woodcock are nearing an end. Each spring the woodcock also known as a timber doodle put on a magnificent performance in the sky. Their spiraled flights with downward dives create a whistling sound which is created from the air being forced over their wings. The performances happen during dusk and dawn and during evenings when the moonlight is bright enough for the woodcock to take flight. A few months ago I visited a Wisconsin Department of Natural resources biologist at the Sandhill Wildlife area in Babcock Wisconsin. The biologist stated that the woodcock numbers are currently decreasing around the central Wisconsin area. The downfall of their population is believed to be from the lack of controlled burns around the tag alders. As the tag alders grow tall the undergrowth diminishes and the numbers of worms and insects that the woodcock depend on diminish, thus affecting the woodcock numbers.

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