THE Woodcock Event of the Century
  Jan 24, 2007


A Timberdoodle Afternoon

A celebration of the American Woodcock, Sunday, March 11, 2007 from 1 to 5  P.M., Canaan Valley State Park Lodge.  A light fare and refreshments reception will give all in attendance the opportunity to mix with fellow woodcock enthusiasts while supporting the Canaan Valley Habitat Project.  Donation is $25 in advance or at the door (cash or check).  NOTE: A special woodcock print has been donated by the Ruffed Grouse Society (thanks to Dr. Mike Zagata) to be auctioned off.

An informative program of brief presentations and remarks by the nation's foremost authorities and managers of woodcock and their habitats includes:

Marvin Moriarty, Region 5 Director, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (invited)

Frank Jezioro, Director, West Virginia DNR & Pointing Dog Journal  Editor-at-Large

Michael D. Zagata, Ph.D., Ex. Dir. & CEO, Ruffed Grouse Society

Matt Hogan, Ex. Dir., International Assoc. of Fish & Wildlife Agencies & former Asst. Sec. of Interior

Paul Padding, Chief, Harvest Surveys Section, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

James R. Kelley, Chief Biologist, National Woodcock Plan, U.S Fish & Wildlife Service

Scot J. Williamson, Ph.D., V.P., Wildlife Management Institute (Invited)

Daniel McAuley, Research & Monitoring Co-Ordinator, American Woodcock Northern Forest Habitat Initiative, U.S.G.S.

Also in attendance will be Canaan Valley pioneer biologists Walt Lesser and Joe Rieffenberger in addition to Ruffed Grouse Society South-Central Senior Biologist Mark Banker.

A special video of hunting Canaan Valley woodcock will be premiered.  Don't miss it!

This is the opening event for the National Woodcock Wingbee held this year at the Canaan Valley NWR, the working week when certified biologists from around the country will age and sex 10,000 to 12,000 woodcock wings sent in by co-operating hunters.

2006 has been a landmark year for the American Woodcock (Scolopax minor), a sentimental favorite of upland gunners and birdwatchers.  The National Woodcock Conservation Plan was rolled out in October by the USFWS, the Northern Initiative is now up and running in the New England States, and woodcock projects are being implemented up and down the Atlantic Flyway like never before.

While this event is an easy drive from the Baltimore-Washington, Richmond, Pittsburgh, and Charleston metro areas, why not make it a weekend trip?!  This the perfect get-away weekend with the family to enjoy late-season downhill skiing at Canaan Valley and Timberline slopes, cross-country trails at Canaan Valley and Blackwater Falls State Parks and ice skating at Canaan Valley State Park right at the Lodge!  To book arrangements call 1-800-CALL WVA

Please join fellow woodcock enthusiasts in celebration of these successes while supporting the work of the Canaan Valley Habitat Project.

Make checks payable to: Ruffed Grouse Society

Send to:
Dennis LaBare  
HC 62 Box 34
Upper Tract, WV  26866

Re: Fwd: THE Woodcock Event of the Century   Ron Gonzalez
  Jan 25, 2007 16:28 PST 

Hi Russ,

Thanks for the link to the Woodcock "Timberdoodle Afternoon." I don't know
if I'd be able to go to West Virginia for it, but it's good to know about.
I've bumped into quite a few woodcocks in the Poconos, but curiously, I
can't remember flushing any in the Catskills or Adirondacks. Maybe it's a
more southern bird than ruffed grouse, etc?
Re: THE Woodcock Event of the Century
  Jan 25, 2007 18:16 PST 

American woodcock is not really common in WV but it is actually   extremely
famous bird in most rural areas north of WV for its' spring time mating

For all of my lifetime in New England watching them do their thing was a
spring ritual. We have them in much of WV and stepping close to one in the
middle of a brushy stream bottom will give a real good start.

In northern Maine there are thousands of acres of forest land where a major
emphasis is enhancing woodcock habitat.

In the region you describe woodcock should be fairly common.

It would be good to hear how many others out in ENTS land have watched or
listened to woodcock.

RE: THE Woodcock Event of the Century   Paul Jost
  Jan 25, 2007 19:39 PST 


I have spotted or flushed woodcocks in all parts of Wisconsin. In fall,
I have even had a migratory woodcock temporarily knock itself
unconscious against a chain link fence at a house that I once lived in.
I usually see them in moist, brushy or semi-brushy areas between
deciduous forests and deciduous swamps. If people aren't seeing them,
then they are likely just not in the right habitat...

Paul Jost
RE: THE Woocock Event of the Century   Lee E. Frelich
  Jan 26, 2007 06:08 PST 

Paul et al.:

Since Woodcocks eat nightcrawlers (Lumbricus terrestris), people often ask
me what they ate before nightcrawlers were introduced to this
continent. The answer is Lumbriculus variegatus (note that the genus is
spelled slightly different), which is an aquatic worm native to most of
North America and common in riparian areas.

Lumbriculus accumulates toxic metal pollution that is present in many
aquatic sediments these days, which is why there are so many studies of
metals in woodcocks, which still eat Lumbriculus in addition to Lumbricus.

Lumbricus terrestris is probably the best suited of the exotic earthworms
to invade riparian areas where Lumbiuculus lives, as long as they are
alkaline, because it uses Ca to scrub CO2 from their blood under
microaerophilic conditions (<5% oxygen). Nightcrawlers eat leaves with high
Ca content (ash, basswood, maple), and extract the Ca, and combine the Ca
with CO2 to form Calcium Carbonate, which they excrete. Nightcrawlers can
survive in microaerophilic conditions such as an aquarium with an
oxygenator, for at least two weeks (one of my graduate students did the
experiment). A nightcrawlers is bigger than a Lumbriculus, so its a real
treat for a woodcock--a lot to eat for relatively little work.


PS--there will be an earthworm physiology quiz at the next ENTS meeting
Re: THE Woocock Event of the Century
  Jan 26, 2007 06:55 PST 

I figure that it is fairly similar up in your country but woodcock in WV are
linked to alder in stream bottoms as much as buffalo are linked to the Great

Re: THE Woocock Event of the Century   Joshua Kelly
  Jan 26, 2007 07:25 PST 

Russ et al.,

I've seen woodcock in several areas in the Southern Blue Ridge, most
commonly near beaver ponds in NE Georgia. I also observed one feeding in a
deep-soiled northern hardwoods forest at about 5000 feet in the Craggy
Mountains. They are beautiful, and sligly awkward looking, little birds.