|Photo courtesy The Cornell Lab of Ornithology|
The American woodcock (Scolopax minor) is related to shorebirds, but lives in forests. It has a long beak, which it uses to probe underground for insects and earthworms. The tip of the beak is flexible to give it an advantage while moving through the soil. The woodcock’s eyes are on the back half of its head so that it can see while searching for food. It seems to have vision almost 360 degrees around. It uses its camouflage to hide on the forest floor, rarely being spotted. The greatest chance to see these amazingly strange looking birds is while they are looking for mates throughout spring. Listen and look for the woodcock just before dusk in open to partially open fields.
Learn more about the American Woodcock from The Cornall Lab or Ornithology.