Monday, March 26, 2012

The Timberdoodle vs. The Snipe

Which is real and which is fictional?

Turns out...they are BOTH real!

The Timberdoodle is also known as the Woodcock, and the Snipe is another upland shore bird, like the Woodcock, but smaller.

As a "Wildlife Wednesday" activity today (on a Monday) our Wildlife Society Club was supposed to mist net and bird band on our main campus, but we suddenly had seasonally appropriate weather and it was cold (30's!) and very windy today. So, John (our fearless leader) decided in the best interest of the birds, we'd reschedule to a later date. Instead, we went to the walk-in Freezer of Dead Things at school and chipped out some frozen birds. I love this program. We found some owls and other little interesting birds.

We have a dusk walk planned to search for the Woodcock coming up at a later this spring, so I wanted to learn a bit about them before. I've heard Woodcock "peent"ing away many spring evenings. I've even spooked them and had them take off on me whirling through the air above me, but I've never gotten a GOOD look at them.

Frozen in the hand had to be better than alive at a distance...I guess. Well, for learning identification skills anyway.

So here they are:

Respectively: Woodcock, Common Snipe

Common Snipe


JVN learnin' us about the differences and special adaptations of plumage.

"Funky" leading feathers on the Woodcock wing. The Snipe has a funky tail feather, that I missed getting a picture of.

Anyway, I'll have an update later in April...hopefully the Woodcocks will still be hanging around then. I've heard reports of them being out and about now...please stick around 3 more weeks!

Lastly, I checked my cameras today at the field station, and I got nothing interesting. I don't know what happened- warm weather? Activity has seemed to haved slowed, or rerouted away from my transect!. We'll see after tonight's cold snap (low 20's!!!) if there's more activity.


  1. I used to think snipe hunting was a joke, well it actually was, but that is another story. Don't get to see many woodcock anymore but they are an impressive little bird. Like the new blog header as well.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great post. I actually hunt Wilson's Snipe here in Oregon. They are incredible fast and excellent table fare albeit quite small morsels. In Springtime they have marvelous vocals during nesting. Woodcock I have not hunted or seen in person as they are not in my areas.


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