2:00 minutes (1.57 MB)
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At sunset, the male American Woodcock — a plump, robin-sized bird — walks slowly on short legs from the cover of the forest to a nearby clearing. After a few sharp calls, the woodcock takes flight. As it spirals upward, slim, stiff feathers at its wingtips create a curious twittering. At the apex of its flight, the woodcock circles, then descends in a slow spiral, putt-putting like a tiny car about to run out of gas. The woodcock’s odd looks and sounds have earned it many colorful nicknames. The most memorable? Timberdoodle!