American Woodcock Activity Reports for February

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February Activity Reports

The daily and weekly historical maps may be viewed here: http://www.ruffedgrousesociety.org/Migration%20Maps%20-%20Feb%202016.

We’ve had more February reports to the system than any other recent February. A review of the comments provided with the reports for “firsts” or other interesting items indicates: on February 1, four males were reported peenting in southern Virginia; a woodcock was reported in Colorado on February 7, supported by photos and a published article from a similar sighting from 2015; a deceased bird was found in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor area on February 8; and on February 29 peenting and mating display flights were observed in northwest Ohio and 41 birds were counted in less than two hours just north of Indianapolis.

In general, the activity reports indicate woodcock further north and migrating sooner than the transmitter-equipped birds in the live tracking research study (see prior post) RGS is supporting. Activity reports indicate birds as far north as Iowa, eastern Wisconsin, northern Ohio, Pennsylvania, southeastern New York, Connecticut, and southern New Hampshire. The tracking research shows one bird having reached southwestern Pennsylvania on February 29 and the others clustered across southern Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana; and into Kentucky. My guess is the activity reports are indicative of males seeking out breeding grounds in advance of the larger females able to carry transmitters represented by the research.

Provide your own reports on activity you observe here: http://www.ruffedgrousesociety.org/migration-map.

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