Animals -> Birds -> Shorebirds -> Woodcock


American Woodcock is reported to have been eaten by the Montagnais (Innu), Micmac (Mi'kmaq) and Onondaga (Iroquois) [1-4].


1.         Waugh FW. In: Iroquois Foods and Food Preparation. edn. Ottawa: Department of Mines. Government Printing Bureau; 1973.

2.         Stoddard NB: Micmac Foods, vol. re-printed from the Journal of Education February 1966. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Halifax Natural Science Museum; 1970.

3.         Helm J (ed.): Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 6: Subarctic. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution; 1981.

4.         Waugh FW: Iroquois Foods and Food Preparation, vol. No. 12; Anthropological Series. Ottawa: Government Printing Bureau; 1916.

The American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) breeds throughout most of southeastern North America, from Florida as far north as southern Newfoundland and southern Manitoba. They are part of a large family of shorebirds including sandpipers, snipes, whimbrels, phalaropes, yellowlegs, godwits, and dowitchers, but are distinct in appearance, mating behaviour and habitat from other shorebirds. Woodcock are chunky, weighing between 120 and 280 g, with a big head, almost no neck, short legs and tail, but a very long bill. Unlike most other shorebirds, woodcock males mate with many females, and males and females do not form pair bonds. Males engage in unique spring courtship flights, calling while spiraling high into the air, before rapidly circling back to the ground. Woodcock live and nest in damp, young forests and old fields, where they feed on earthworms and insects. Their mottled brown upperparts and rusty underparts conceal them very well in cover. Because of their association with upland habitat, woodcock are sometimes grouped together with grouse and ptarmigan as upland fowl, even though woodcock are much more closely related to shorebirds.


Keppie DM, Whiting JRM: American Woodcock (Scolopax minor). In: The Birds of North America Online. Edited by Poole A. Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; 1994.


Distribution maps provided below, unless otherwise stated, were obtained from Birds of North America Online, maintained by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and all pictures provided below were obtained from Encyclopedia of Life
American Woodcock
Supplier: Wikimedia Commons
Photographer: guizmo_68