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The Buzz

Five Wild and Wacky Woodcock Facts





Photo via Creative Commons

When it comes to birds you can see in the preserves, the American woodcock may be the most unique one you'll come across. 

From the elaborate mating ritual to the fact that its brain is upside down, there's plenty of weirdness to love about these birds. 

Regardless of whether or not you're signed up for the Woodcock Walk at Hickory Creek Preserve on March 24, here's some woodcock trivia to tuck into the back of your right-side-up brain.

1. They look goofy, but ... 

The woodcock's bill may seem freakishly long compared to its body, but that long bill allows it to probe the soil for earthworms. 

They also are known to rock their bodies back and forth while foraging. It's believed that those vibrations prompt the earthworms to move underground, and the sounds are picked up by the woodcock. 

2. Woodcocks almost have eyes in the back of their heads

Their large eyes are positioned high and near the back of the skull, which allows these birds to keep an eye on the sky while on the ground foraging for food. 

3. They 'freeze' when threatened

This defense mechanism will kick in wherever they are, even if it's in the middle of a road.

4. If the males were human, they would be terrible boyfriends

They mate with multiple females and do absolutely nothing in the area of parental care.

5. They can eat how much?

These tiny birds have massive appetites thanks to a digestive system that moves food through at lightning speed. As a result, a woodcock can eat its weight in worms in a day.

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