Woodcock Walk at Parslow Road

14apr6:45 pm8:15 pmWoodcock Walk at Parslow Road6:45 pm - 8:15 pm(GMT-04:00)

Event Details

In collaboration with Otsego Land Trust

REGISTER to attend at https://otsegolandtrust.org/events/annual-woodcock-guided-walk
Space is limited, so please register as soon as you can – 11 spaces remaining on 3/14/24.

On Sunday, April 14 from 6:45 to 8:15 PM, join Otsego Land Trust and Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society for our annual Woodcock Walk at the Parslow Road Conservation Area.  DOAS locals Sandy Bright and Charlie Scheim will lead a walk to observe the spring courtship ritual of the woodcock. 

The woodcock usually spends its time hidden on the forest floor probing for earthworms in moist soil, but on spring evenings males perform a dance in scrub fields to attract potential mates. This wonderful display occurs in three parts: the strut, the launch skyward, and the spiral back to earth accompanied by buzzy calls and twittering wing sounds.

The walk will begin at 6:45 PM in the parking lot with an introduction to the woodcock and its habits, and a walk on the trail listening and looking for the birds that inhabit this protected property. The sun is expected to set around 7:30 pm at which time the group will position itself in the best location to view and count the Woodcocks. The trail will be a path through forests and fields that is fairly level, although at times quite uneven, and at times muddy and wet. Note also that there are no restroom facilities at the parking lot. The round-trip distance will be approximately a half mile, and the second half of the walk will be in darkness, so it is useful to bring a flashlight. Then, participants will walk on the trail discussing the varied habitats on the property as they make their way to the best spot to observe the woodcocks. Waterproof footwear, a headlamp or flashlight, and binoculars are recommended.

American Woodcock spend most of their time hidden in fields and on the forest floor, where they probe for earthworms. But on spring nights, males perform very conspicuous displays, giving a buzzy “peent” call, then launching into the air. Their erratic display flight includes a distinctive, twittering flight sound and ends with a steep dive back to the ground. The wet thickets, shrubby swamps, and open fields at Parslow Road Conservation Area are ideal habitats for these interesting birds that have unfortunately seen a population decline over the years.

About our Guides

Sandy Bright has been a birder for over 20 years. She authors the Bird Sightings column for the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society (DOAS) newsletter and has been the Coordinator for the Oneonta Christmas Bird Count since 2013. Professionally, Sandy is a retired Oneonta elementary teacher, where she taught from 1992 till 2018.

Charlie Scheim has been a birder since college (1970s) He is now on the Board of Directors and is the Treasurer and Field Trip Coordinator of DOAS. He is also a Regional Coordinator for the NYS Breeding Bird Atlas and is the Coordinator for the Fort Plain Christmas Bird Count. Charlie is a retired math professor from Hartwick College, where he taught from 1980 to 2018.

Together they lead a number of bird walks each year, give various educational presentations, and participate in many citizen science bird surveys.

Cost: FREE

Please let us know you are coming!
REGISTER to attend at https://otsegolandtrust.org/events/annual-woodcock-guided-walk
Space is limited, so please register as soon as you can – 11 spaces remaining on 3/14/24.

For questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with cherise@otsegolandtrust.org.


Parslow Road Conservation Area is owned and protected by Otsego Land Trust for public enjoyment. The mission of Otsego Land Trust is to improve the quality of life throughout the Upper Susquehanna region by working with landowners and partners to protect and conserve our farmland, forests, and waterways in perpetuity.

The Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society, a chapter of the National Audubon Society, envisions a healthy world where people and wildlife thrive and natural resources are protected. The mission of Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society is to protect our natural environment and connect people with nature to benefit birds and other wildlife through conservation, education, research and advocacy.

REGISTER to attend at https://otsegolandtrust.org/events/annual-woodcock-guided-walk

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April 14, 2024 6:45 pm - 8:15 pm(GMT-04:00)


Parslow Road Conservation Area

127 Parslow Road

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