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 American Woodcock

Status in Michigan
Common Transient summer resident

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for American Woodcock.

Use the links below to view the American Woodcock reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Summer 2005
View American Woodcock sightings.
American Woodcock Archives Reports
Spring 2005
Fall 2004
Spring 2004
Winter 03-04
Fall 2003 15
Spring 2003 86
Winter 02-03 0
Fall 2002 10
Summer 2002 5
Spring 2002 118
Winter 01-02 2
Fall 2001 13
Summer 2001 4
Spring 2001 82
Winter 00-01 2
Fall 2000 14
Summer 2000 3
Spring 2000 103
Winter 00-99 11
Fall 1999 16
Spring/Summer 1999 7

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: American Woodcock

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text

Philohela minor (Gmelin)
American Woodcock

Common transient. Summer resident, fairly common in the south, less common in the Upper Peninsula.

First recorded for Michigan by Sager (1839: 416).

SPRING.-Main flight in southern counties is reported during the latter part of March and in April; in the Upper Peninsula during late April and in May.

Lower Peninsula.-In the Toledo-Erie marsh area (L. W. Campbell, 1940: 72-73, 188, 202) individuals have arrived on the average by March 27 (though sometimes by mid-March), and main flight has begun on the average by April 8. According to Swales (1893: 79; and notes), in the Detroit area the species frequently appeared by late March, but was not common until late April or early May. In the Ann Arbor region it is usually first noted in the last third, though on occasion by the first week, of March; George Wallace (1931: 111-12) saw nearly a dozen individuals in a day there during the first week of April. F. W. Rapp (1931: 9) found none in Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County, before April 6, and Walkinshaw (1941: 116; and notes) none in the Battle Creek area in the 1930's before mid-March; Gibbs (1885: 151), however, stated that in Kalamazoo County he had usually recorded the species in early March and '' often in late February in open seasons."

Upper Peninsula.-Christofferson reported main flight at Munuscong Bay, Chippewa County, and Blaney, Schoolcraft County, in the latter part of April. The species was first seen in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County (Christy, 1925: 210; S. S. Gregory, Jr., 1929: 174), on May 30, and at Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County (N. A. Wood, 1933: 717), on May 15; in both localities it was apparently rare.

SUMMER.-Egg sets are found most commonly in the first 2 or 3 weeks of May, occasionally in late March and April and in early June.

Lower Peninsula.-According to Swales' notes, Jerome Trombley collected 5 sets of eggs (U.S.N.M.) in the vicinity of Petersburg, Monroe County, between April 16 (1885, nest with 3 eggs) and May 24 (1884, nest with 3 eggs). In the Detroit area, Swales recorded a number of egg sets between May 1 (1904, nest with 4 eggs found by Alexander W. Blain, Jr.) and May 25 (1891, nest with 4 eggs found by Swales). On March 27, 1918, G. A. Abbott found a nest with 3 eggs at Grosse Pointe. In the Ann Arbor region, N. A. Wood photographed a nest with 4 eggs on May 11, 1912, and G. A. Ammann found a nest with 4 eggs on June 11, 1936. L. D. Case and A. S. Hyde found a nest with 4 eggs at Portage Lake, Jackson County, on April 16, 1936. Walkinshaw has recorded a number of nests in Calhoun County, one with 2 young and 1 egg on April 22, 1935; another with 4 eggs on May 8, 1932; and a third with 4 eggs on May 19, 1935. F. W. Rapp (1931: 9) listed 2 mid-May nests from Kalamazoo County; N. A. Wood (1922: 10) listed a nest with 4 newly hatched young in Berrien County, on May 15, 1920. At Saginaw, Harriet H. Wright (Barrows, 1912: 177) examined 2 nests on May 14, 1906, one with 4 eggs and the other with 3 young; in Newaygo County, E. E. Ford (1935: 18) noted a brood of well-grown young on May 23, 1934. J. W. Leonard reported an adult on a nest in Otsego County in the first week of May, 1941, and another nest with 4 small young on May 13, 1941, in Montmorency County. In the Douglas Lake area, Cheboygan County, the species has been found to be very common recently ("since 1930, at least," according to Blanchard and Nelson, MS of 1937). The Woodcock was uncommon in this area in the early part of the century (N. A. Wood, Smith, and Gates, 1916: 8; Pettingill, 1936:220).

Upper Peninsula.-On Les Cheneaux Islands, Mackinac County, the species was listed as not uncommon in summer (1917 to 1921) by Van Tyne (1923: 22); in Chippewa County, young birds -were seen (on Sugar Island) by Christofferson on June 22, 1924, and (near Sault Ste Marie) by Chase S. Osborn on May 20, 1921. Christofferson has seen adult "Wood- cocks during the summer months at Munuscong Bay, Chippewa County, and at Blaney, Schoolcraft County. N. A. Wood (1918: 5) listed the species as occasional in Alger County in the summer of 1916. S. S. Gregory, Jr. (1929: 174), recorded it as rare in summer in the Huron Mountain region, Marquette County.

FALL.-Main flight is reported in late August and in September in the Upper Peninsula, in September and early October in southern counties.

Upper Peninsula.-On Isle Royale, A. M. and F. M. Baumgartner saw a Woodcock in the first week of September, 1938, and Walter Koelz re- ported 1 on September 21, 1929. Trautman noted 2 near Lake Gogebic, Ontonagon County, on October 3, 1934, and Ira N. Gabrielson observed 1 in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, on September 27, 1936. G. B. Saunders (Pettingill, 1936: 220) saw 10 near Three Lakes, Baraga County, on September 30, 1934. At Blaney, Schoolcraft County, and at Munuscong Bay, Chippewa County, Christofferson seldom found any after the middle of October.

Lower Peninsula.-According to Clyde M. Smith, Woodcocks are often abundant at Bellaire, Antrim County, in the first 3 weeks of October; he collected specimens (U.M.M.Z.) there on October 15, 1939. Max M. Peet took a specimen (Max M. Peet collection) in Iosco County on November 20, 1912. In Kalamazoo County (Gibbs, 1885: 151; F. W. Rapp, 1931: 9; Walkinshaw, 1941: 116) the species has usually departed in the middle or latter part of October. Formerly abundant in the Ann Arbor region in September and October, the Woodcock is now much less numerous; it has occasionally been noted there until late November; 2 were shot near Ann Arbor by Kitson Cobb on November 30, 1914. At Detroit, Swales (1893:79; 1912: 128; and notes) found it most common during October; he examined an individual that was shot there on December 3, 1907. In the Toledo-Erie marsh area (L. W. Campbell, 1940: 188, 202), on the average, main flight has ended by October 9, and the last individuals have departed by October 12; stragglers have occasionally been found there until mid- November.

WINTER.-Gibbs (1889: 189) reported that the species was rare, but "observed during each of the winter months" in Kalamazoo County.

Mueseum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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