Although it is still blustery and cold across much of the region we are closing in on the time that American woodcock will be heading north along their spring migration routes. In the ‘early bird gets the worm’ mentality, woodcock migrate earlier than most other species leaving their southern wintering grounds sometimes before February to arrive on northern breeding grounds often when there is still snow on the ground. Despite the specie’s allure, there is still very little known about the ecology of American woodcock along the spring migration routes. Any information on spring migration habitat is critical for better management of woodcock.
It is our hope to bridge this knowledge gap. With your help and the help of other volunteers, we hope to collect abundance and general habitat data across Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois and Iowa during the spring migration.
We need your help to make this effort a success!
How you can help:
1. Venture out this spring and watch and listen to woodcock perform their conspicuous courtship dances, record your observations on the provided data sheet (email me to request more information and data sheets) and send the data sheet to [log in to unmask]
2. Spread the word and help us to find more volunteers to widen our survey range and fill in missing areas.
Thanks to those of you who have taken the time to read through this post and thank you in advanced to all who plan to volunteer to collect data for us this spring. I look for to hearing from you and working with you.
Cari Elizabeth Sebright
Arkansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
1 University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701-1201