ST. LOUIS – Dan Zaelenga from the Missouri Department of Conservation tells us all about American woodcocks.
The ground-nesting bird is part of the sandpiper family. They can be spotted by their extremely long bills, round plump bodies, short tail and legs, and large black eyes located high on the head.
Missouri is part of the woodcocks breeding range, so they can be seen in fields near woods at dusk. You may even catch a breeding dance where they strut making a "peenting" sound before flying in an upward spiral and diving straight down. The mating season stretches from late February through March.