Sunday, March 07, 2010

Woodcock Camouflage

I was startled by a woodcock a few days ago, when it flew up just a few feet away from me. It flew only twenty feet, though, before disappearing into the leafy background of the forest floor. I stopped what I was doing and stalked the bird, my point-and-shoot camera ready but hardly up to the task of capturing my prey.

The scarcity of birds on this website has a lot to do with their being equipped with wings and legs. The best that can be said about my aging Canon Powershot is that it represents nature as it's experienced in the field.

So it's time to test your visual acuity in a game of Find the Woodcock in the Leaves.

There was a nice piece on NPR three years ago about the woodcock's mating flight, which can be witnessed in fields around Princeton at dusk this time of year. The meadows at Tusculum, which adjoins Mountain Lakes, might be a good bet.

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