What: Field Trip to see American Woodcock (Timberdoodle) perform their
courtship “dance” at dusk.
Who: Friends of Turkey Run and Shades St. Parks.
Where: Shades St. Park.
When: 14 March 2015 (weather permitting).
Backup Date: 21 March 2015
Time: 6:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. for those wanting to do some hiking with Friends).
Meeting Place: Pine Shelter parking lot just past the gatehouse ( you can see the
rom the lot).
The Friends of Turkey Run and Shades St. Parks will have a field trip to Shades St. Park to see and hear the American Woodcocks (Timberdoodles) perform their courtship dance at Shades St. Park 14 March 2015.
These birds can be heard at dusk and dawn in late winter through mid-spring giving their “peent” calls prior to rising into the air in twittering flight, circling, and returning to their starting point.
These interesting birds are classed with shorebirds but are usually seen away from lakes and ponds, nesting in damp woodlands such as occur near the entrance to Shades St. Park where they probe the soil for earthworms and such with their long, flexible-tipped bill. They are very difficult to see as their cryptic plumage is perfect camouflage for living on the ground among leaf litter and debris. Due to their crepuscular habits, their eyes are proportionately large and are set closer to the back of the head than the front, allowing them almost 180 degree field of vision on each side to watch for predators while probing their bill three-four inches in the ground. When caught in the open or drawing attention from young they do what is called a “swivel walk” involving taking a step then swaying the entire body forward and back, taking a second step, swaying, and repeating until out of danger.
Please join us to see this very interesting bird and be able to tell your friends you “timberdoodled”.