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Woodcock Walk

April 3 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

*This event has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 emergency.


Every April for millennia, an odd-looking migratory bird has returned to the Northeast from its far-away wintering grounds to engage in one of the more bizarre mating rituals in the Animal Kingdom. Perhaps you’re even familiar with the strange, high-pitched, nasally “pent” sound that can be heard coming from fields and young forests this time of year. These sounds are the mating calls of the American Woodcock, also known as the Timberdoodle. During the last few moments of daylight, male Woodcocks perform an unusual courtship display that the famous naturalist, Aldo Leopold, called “the sky dance.” The males repeatedly spiral high up into the air and then return to the ground in a wild zig-zag, all in hopes of impressing and attracting one of the females watching them with a carefully judging eye. Join us on an evening walk to one of the local places where Woodcocks can often be seen engaging in this aerial display.

We will meet in Great Hollow’s visitor parking area at 7 pm and then take a short drive over to the Great Swamp Wildlife Management area off of Cornwall Hill Rd. in Patterson, NY. You may also meet us there directly if you prefer (190 Cornwall Hill Rd., Patterson, NY, 12563).

Please dress appropriately for the weather, wear sturdy footwear, and bring a flashlight, as we will be returning to our vehicles in the dark. It’s about a 10 minute walk from the parking area to where we hope to find Woodcocks displaying. Free for members; a suggested donation of $5/person for non-members is greatly appreciated. No dogs, please. To sign up, please email John at .   *Please note that while we will do our best to find Woodcocks, there is no way to guarantee it.


April 3
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Great Hollow Nature Preserve
225 CT-37
New Fairfield, CT 06812 United States
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Great Hollow Nature Preserve & Ecological Research Center
(203) 546-7789