[CT Birds] Woodcock mortality -

Carrier Graphics carriergraphics at sbcglobal.net
Sat Mar 24 12:09:07 EDT 2007

Re: David Bingham - 

I agree with you on most points as to why these early Woodcock may not be dying from starvation
only. You describe seeing open water most all of the winter in swampy areas, and from these small,
open, ice free areas, Woodcock might just find enough food to survive.

 These areas might be called mini-ecosystems, of which we usually have some all year long.
Wildlife knows where to find them, and occasionally they are the only areas affording food during
the harshest of times. I observed one of these several years ago, and here is a short sample of
what i discovered. 

During a very cold and snowy, but sunny January, I Spotted a male Bluebird perched above some
Multiflora Rose in an overgrown field in Litchfield. This bird i assumed was surviving on these
rose hips and other berries found in the area. The Bluebird then flew over the road into a snow
covered swampy area, where it appeared no open water was to be found. I observed this bird looking
intently down at the ground, as they often do during the summer in search of insects.
It then flew down to what appeared to be a snow covered swamp grass tussock , and stuck his head
under it and began pecking there at something. When he vacated, I went to the tussock, and
discovered underneath, a small micro-climate there that was warmed by the suns rays which had
melted the snow facing south, and also some open water. In another i searched that was near, I
discovered several small spiders and some even smaller insects that were moving around in this
very small warmed eco-climate, assuming this was the quarry the Bluebird knew was there, and was

I believe other birds and wildlife know of these areas, and exploit them when necessary to get
through lean times. 

Paul Carrier   


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