American Woodcock

Scolopax minor

Summary 7

The American Woodcock (Scolopax minor), sometimes colloquially referred to as the Timberdoodle, is a small chunky shorebird species found primarily in the eastern half of North America. Woodcocks spend most of their time on the ground in brushy, young-forest habitats, where the birds' brown, black, and gray plumage provides excellent camouflage.

Morphology 8

American woodcocks are short, plump, compact birds with very long (5.9 to 7.8 cm) bills that are specialized for feeding on earthworms. Woodcocks are mottled brown, rich buff and gray in a way that camouflages them well in woodland habitat. Their heads are large, with three dark bands across the back. Woodcocks have large brown eyes that are set far back in the skull, providing rearview binocular vision. Their wings are broad and rounded.

Male and female American woodcocks are similar in appearance, though females are generally larger than males. Female American woodcocks range from 27 to 31 cm long and can weigh 151 to 279 g. Their wingspans range from 44.6 to 50.8 cm. Males range from 25 to 28 cm long and weigh 116 to 219 g. Their wingspans range from 40.4 to 45.5 cm (Keppie and Whiting, 1994; Terres, 1980).

Range mass: 116 to 279 g.

Range length: 25 to 31 cm.

Range wingspan: 40 to 51 cm.

Sexual Dimorphism: female larger

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Average basal metabolic rate: 1.066 W.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Jerry Oldenettel, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  2. Baetsen, Richard, no known copyright restrictions (public domain),
  3. (c) Chris, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  4. (c) Jacob Enos, some rights reserved (CC BY),
  5. (c) Benny Mazur from Toledo, OH, some rights reserved (CC BY),
  6. (c) lavandarfields, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
  7. (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
  8. (c) The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),

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