Wednesday, November 11, 2015


If you click on the picture, you can see it much better.

This American Woodcock was sitting on the sidewalk in front of the grocery store when I came out tonight. That shadow was made by my cart. He's about 6 or 7 inches tall and about 10 inches long. He was absolutely still, and for a few minutes I thought he might be a stuffed toy because his feathers were a bit fuzzy.  Then, finally, he moved his head. I've never seen one around here before, even though I live in a place that would be much more suitable for a forest-foraging bird than a shopping area with acres of concrete. He must have been migrating south for the winter and gotten a bit off-track.

Wikipedia tells me that William G. Sheldon says in his Book of the American Woodcock that, "[i]ts many folk names include timberdoodle, bogsucker, night partridge, brush snipe, hokumpoke, and becasse. I think I like timberdoodle the best. It's hard, though to choose between timberdoodle and hokumpoke.

I could not believe how close he let me get to him. I must have been about 18" away, and he sat there and let me take about 10 pictures. After about ten minutes it occurred to me that half of what was in my cart was frozen (at least it had been when I left the store), so I probably ought to go home. I wondered if he were injured and unable to move, but when I drove by on my way out, he had gone. I hope he found a forest. I wish he'd come live in the one beside my house.


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