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RuffChaser

Woodcock Research

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RuffChaser

When i was at the banding Seminar in mid may here in MN there was a presentation by Tom Cooper on some research being done on the American Woodcock. This was based upon data that was collected from the study using GPS "backpacks" put on birds. Some of you may have seen the Migration maps on the RGS site that showed the locations of birds during migration. That information came from this study. Most of the devices were put on females because they are larger and the pack weight had a lower percentage of their total body weight. They actually had to get an exception for this study since the weight as a percentage was still higher than the USFWS usually allows. They were able to put some packs on males as well by the end of the study. Battery weight plays a big part in how small the devices can be so advances in battery technology greatly influence these types of studies. I believe they stated each pack cost around $3,000. I didn't take any notes so i am going from memory here which isn't always a good idea for me but I believe the following is pretty acurate with what they shared with us.

 

Much of what was shared with us and what seemed to surprise people is how much they are capable of flying when the conditions are right. It was previously thought that a woodcock could only fly about 50 miles a night but the data they collected shows some were capable of flying closer to 100 miles a night. The overall length of migration was also shorter than they expected to see. They also found some interesting facts out about resting areas and how many males tended to stay in the Cape May area through an entire winter when they were in their first year. This was just males and not females and as they got older hey did fly farther South.

 

For people like me that band and have an interest in knowing more about the little russet fellows it was pretty cool information to see. They had some others things that puzzle them still but this is as I think it should be. We don't need to, and probably shouldn't, know everything about them. If we do I think it'll make them a little less interesting. I know it isn't groundbreaking but it is interesting. I think some of the best information they got for us hunters is they have great information on where they tended to rest so they will be working with numerous state agencies and conservation groups to work on habitat in those areas to reduce the stress on the birds during migration.

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Brad Eden
32 minutes ago, RuffChaser said:

They had some others things that puzzle them still but this is as I think it should be. We don't need to, and probably shouldn't, know everything about them. If we do I think it'll make them a little less interesting.

 

Ive often thought the same thing. Woodcock are an enigma as they should be.

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Railhntr

Research project conducted by the good old University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Go Hogs! WPS!

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charlo slim
On 6/21/2017 at 9:08 AM, Brad Eden said:
On 6/21/2017 at 8:35 AM, RuffChaser said:

They had some others things that puzzle them still but this is as I think it should be. We don't need to, and probably shouldn't, know everything about them. If we do I think it'll make them a little less interesting.

 

Ive often thought the same thing. Woodcock are an enigma as they should be.

 

I'll respectfully quibble just a bit here.  From hunting and general interest perspectives, then yes -  mystery and even seeming oddity offer some allure.  From the perspective of effective conservation, however, the unknowns can often be major impediments to efficient and successful  management efforts.  IMO.

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Brad Eden
On 6/21/2017 at 11:08 AM, Brad Eden said:

 

Ive often thought the same thing. Woodcock are an enigma as they should be.

 

1 hour ago, charlo slim said:

 

I'll respectfully quibble just a bit here.  From hunting and general interest perspectives, then yes -  mystery and even seeming oddity often some allure.  From the perspective of effective conservation, however, the unknowns can often be major impediments to efficient and successful  management efforts.  IMO.

 

Quibbling is accepted here...I'll quibble a bit too. Sometimes us humans think we can manage wildlife to our own whims. When it's often out of our control despite our best efforts.. Not to say we shouldn't try or can't help a species. But I'm a believer that nature often takes its own course. 

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charlo slim

I'll not quibble with that.

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RuffChaser
23 hours ago, charlo slim said:

 

I'll respectfully quibble just a bit here.  From hunting and general interest perspectives, then yes -  mystery and even seeming oddity offer some allure.  From the perspective of effective conservation, however, the unknowns can often be major impediments to efficient and successful  management efforts.  IMO.

 

It's OK to quibble. I do feel there are many things to learn that we can do to help them but I don't want to know everything about them. Considering 99% of the world has probably never heard of them what we know about them is light ears ahead of most. Hell I know people that bird hunt that don't know what they are. I clearly define being a bird hunter differently but every year I meet people that say they bird hunt and have never heard of them.

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bill

Woodcock are interesting bird and I myself send the  U S Fish& wildlife folks  several wings every year. If it wasn,t for woodcock in my part of the world a Birddog wouldn,t have anything to point anymore

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