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The Dance of the Woodcock

Published on
06 February 2024

Spring is here! Join us to watch American Woodcocks performing their amazing courtship flights. The male woodcocks will make several preent calls and then launch themselves into the sky. While they are flying up, you can hear the wind whistling through their outer primary feathers. They descend in a zigzag pattern while making a chirping sound and land back where they started.

In our area, these amazing birds are often heard at Silver Creek Conservation Area, Pleasant Valley Conservation Area, The Hollows Conservation Area, Boloria Meadows Nature Preserve, Yonder Prairie Nature Preserve, Winding Creek Conservation Area and Hennen Conservation Area.

Be sure to dress warm with sturdy shoes you don’t mind getting muddy and bring a flashlight! The walks at Boloria Meadows and Yonder Prairie may involve some hiking on mowed trails after dark. The trails at Yonder Prairie and Boloria Meadows are not challenging, but they may be muddy or icy depending on the weather.

Do you have mobility issues?  Can’t walk on uneven ground?  No worries, this year we are offering a “limited mobility” woodcock sit at Hennen Conservation Area in Woodstock.  If you are able to walk short distances on mowed trails, please leave these spaces for other people who are unable to. Thank you!

Dates:

Sunday, April 14 -7:15 p.m. at Boloria Meadows in Bull Valley

Wednesday, April 17 – 7:15 p.m. at Yonder Prairie in Woodstock

Sunday, April 21 – 7:30 p.m. at Yonder Prairie in Woodstock

Wednesday, April 24 – 7:30 p.m. Boloria Meadows in Bull Valley

Sunday, April 28 – 7:30 p.m. Hennen in Woodstock (limited mobility sit)

Fee: Free, please RSVP to [email protected] as soon as possible to reserve your spot on an upcoming walk.

Each walk is capped at 15 people and should last between 1-1.5 hours.

Boloria Meadows Nature Preserve: Nearest address – 7219 Millburne Ct. Bull Valley
Yonder Prairie Nature Preserve: 1143 S. Rose Farm Rd. Woodstock

Each walk has a maximum participation of 15 people and should last between 1-1.5 hours.