[CT Birds] Woodcock/"Timberdoodle"
dbbingham at sbcglobal.net
Thu Mar 22 23:24:20 EDT 2007
Sad to hear about the dead birds.
I flushed three Woodcock near my home today. So we can be sure some have
survived the cold. The big wave of these birds is just under way.
There is always a balance between "the early birds that get the worm" and
the really early ones that get frozen out of their food supply. But I'm
surprised if the deaths were really from the freeze because even in the
coldest weather (like when it was below freezing for most of the month of
February), I find when I try to cross swamps there are areas that remain
unfrozen due to their location, and have a tendency stay warm. I also find
that I sometimes flush Woodcock on our farm in mid-winter here in Salem
almost every year, even at the coldest of seasons. When we get a thaw, and a
full moon, I have even heard them doing their "peenting" and displays in
both January and February in some years.
Other causes of death (collisions, viruses, toxins) should also be
considered. If they are emaciated, that would make it unlikely that trauma
or acute poisoning would be the cause, but a viral illness could linger long
enough to get emaciated before the demise. Or the dead birds may be
inexperience young birds that just haven't learned well enough how to find
what sustenance is there when harsh weather sets in.
On the other hand, with two clutches in many summers and a reproductive life
span of several years, the Woodcock population would explode if we could
provide the habitat, warmth, safety and food supply to sustain them all. The
balance of nature is more a teeter-totter than a steady state for most
----- Original Message -----
From: "Kathy Van Der Aue" <kvda at optonline.net>
To: <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2007 8:25 AM
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Late for work again
> We've had sad reports of dead woodcocks at Birdcraft Museum and Sanctuary
> Fairfield. A couple of dead ones have also been brought by. I assume
> have starved to death with the frozen ground preventing them from getting
> Kathy Van Der Aue
> Southport, Connecticut
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