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The male American Woodcock – our avian harbinger of spring (Indoor Meeting)

Stan Caveney will talk about the secretive terrestrial courtship rituals of the woodcock.

Friday, March 22 @ 7:30 pm 9:30 pm

The male American Woodcock is renowned for his melodic and complex seasonal flight performance. This spectacular “sky dance” which involves wide looping minute-long flights up to 300ft high is performed post-dusk and predawn in March and April, regardless of the weather conditions. Most bird watchers regard this as his primary advertisement for receptive female American Woodcocks. But what if the sky dance serves primarily to intimidate competing males? In March of 2019, Stan Caveney started to spend his early spring spying on the male American Woodcocks’ terrestrial courtship rituals. Not many observers have seen a male American Woodcock wooing a receptive female but he has! And he has recorded the sounds that lead to a successful courtship.

Stan is a longtime Nature London and Thames Talbot Land Trust member and Professor Emeritus at Western University. In 2020, he and his wife Anita donated their property MeadowWoods to the land trust. All photos in this presentation were taken at the Woodcock Meadow at MeadowWoods.

Birding Wing Coordinators

London Civic Garden Complex

625 Springbank Drive
London, Ontario N6K 4T1 Canada
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Attendance: 64 / 100

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