American Woodcock

American Woodcock

American Woodcocks are the only species of woodcocks in North America and are distinctive with their large eyes and long beaks on short stocky bodies.

They are a combination of gray, black, and cinnamon which is perfect camouflage among the leaves on the forest floor, where they tend to be rather than on the shore.

  • Scolopax minor
  • Length: 9.8 – 12.2 in (25 – 31 cm)
  • Weight: 4.1 – 9.8 oz (116 – 279 g)
  • Wingspan: 16.5 – 18.9 in (42 – 48 cm)


American Woodcocks are birds of eastern North America. They breed in the north and migrate to the south.

Habitat and Diet

You can find American Woodcocks in wet thickets, moist woods, old fields, and brushy swamps.

In spring and summer, males launch themselves into the air so they can perform their “sky dance”, their courtship ritual to attract females.

American Woodcocks’ main food is earthworms. Their long and straight bills are perfect for digging in moist, wet soil. 

American Woodcock call:


Nests of American Woodcocks are usually on the ground in open woods or overgrown fields and made from dead leaves. The female lays up to 3 eggs which she alone incubates for 3 weeks and she also cares for the young alone.

Fun Facts:

American Woodcocks will make a rocking motion with their bodies while foraging with the intent of disturbing earthworms hidden in the soil. 

They have a funny bouncing walk.