Behavior of Incubating American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) in Maine

  • Daniel G. McAuley U.S. Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
  • David A. Clugston U.S. Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
  • Jerry R. Longcore U.S. Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
  • William A. Halteman Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Maine

Abstract

During April – June 1987 and 1988, we remotely monitored 14 radio-marked female American Woodcock (Scolopax minor; hereafter woodcock) at 18 nest sites on Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge in Maine, U.S.A., to determine patterns and constancy of nest incubation behavior. On average, females spent 93% of their time on the nest and 7% off the nest, leaving nests for an average of 104.2 minutes during a 24-hour period. Time off the nest each day did not vary by year, daily high temperature, or amount of daily precipitation. Our data suggest that renesting females spent more time off nest/day than females on first nests, and that second-year females made more diurnal recesses from the nest than aftersecond- year females. Most woodcock left the nest during crepuscular periods. Our results provide information about nest incubation constancy, and may be useful for informing woodcock research and habitat management.

Published
2019-12-03