Woodcocks and Wine

One of the most exciting signs of spring is the appearance and courtship flights of…
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Coverdale Farm
Thursday, March 24

Event Details

Thursday, March 24

Coverdale Farm
543 Way Rd. ,
Wilmington, DE 19807

Presented By
Delaware Nature Society
Event Type
Ticket Cost
Adult | Member $25| Non-member $30

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One of the most exciting signs of spring is the appearance and courtship flights of the American Woodcock. Join us as we explore Coverdale Farm Preserve at dusk to see and hear these odd, plump members of the shorebird family conduct their displays. Afterwards, enjoy a glass of wine to toast the exciting bird also known as the “Mudbat”.

Enjoy Aldo Leopold’s wonderful description of the experience to get a taste of what we hope for: Knowing the place and the hour, you seat yourself under a bush to the east of the dance floor and wait, watching against the sunset for the woodcock’s arrival. He flies in low from some neighboring thicket, alights on the bare moss, and at once begins the overture: a series of queer throaty peents spaced about two seconds apart, and sounding much like the summer call of the nighthawk.

Suddenly the peenting ceases and the bird flutters skyward in a series of wide spirals, emitting a musical twitter. Up and up he goes, the spirals steeper and smaller, the twittering louder and louder, until the performer is only a speck in the sky. Then, without warning, he tumbles like a crippled plane, giving voice in a soft liquid warble that a March bluebird might envy. At a few feet from the ground he levels off and returns to his peenting ground, usually to the exact spot where the performance began, and there resumes his peenting. It is soon too dark to see the bird on the ground, but you can see his flights against the sky for an hour, which is the usual duration of the show. On moonlight nights, however, it may continue, at intervals, as long as the moon continues to shine …

Led by Joe Sebastiani and Ian Stewart.



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