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American Woodcocks are Nesting at Bernheim

By Bernheim

Nesting American WoodcockIt’s spring, and that means nesting birds. American Woodcocks have already been found nesting along the Wilson Creek Valley at Bernheim.

Females make a shallow depression in leaves and twigs on the ground in young forests. Males do not play any role in the nesting and care of the young.

American Woodcocks can lay four eggs, and will lay one a day until they reach this number. It usually takes about 20 days for incubation. Females may abandon the nest if they are disturbed early in the incubation period. Nests are preyed on by dogs, cats, skunks, raccoons, snakes, crows, and others, and nests are lost to natural disasters like flooding and fire. Hens that lose their nest may nest again, but will only lay three eggs.

Woodcock chicks are precocial, which means they are able to leave the nest hours after hatching. Chicks feed on insects and earthworms, and they grow fast. The chicks can normally fly about two weeks after hatching. The chicks leave their mother when they are six to eight weeks old.

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