Habitat - Singing Grounds

  1. In the spring, male woodcock court females by singing and flying up into the sky from clearcuts, natural openings in wooded settings, woods roads and country lanes, pastures, cultivated fields, reverting farmland, and powerline right-of-ways. The best singing grounds lie near good nesting and brood-rearing habitat. Singing grounds are often close to daytime or diurnal feeding cover.
  2. What to Look For:
    1. Forest openings with sparse groundcover. (Winter snowpack may knock down and flatten tall herbaceous vegetation, such as ferns and goldenrod, letting woodcock conduct their springtime displays in areas that later in the year will appear to be overgrown.)
    2. Log landings and the edges of roads leading through forest.
    3. Pastures.
    4. Small hayfields, especially ones close to wet areas.
  3. Characteristics:
    1. Open herbaceous groundcover.
    2. Openings with groundcover flattened by winter snowpack.
    3. In general, singing grounds will be one-half acre in size or larger.