Monday, March 23, 2009

Woodcock Watch

Each spring brings about the extraordinary courtship displays of the American woodcock, a shorebird that inhabits the wet woodland and brushy areas of Ohio. March begins these acrobatic flyers courtship rituals that consist of tight spirals reaching over 300 feet into the sky and a zig-zag descent, resembling a falling leaf. Chaparral Prairie State Nature Preserve is home to these splendid sky dancers who are giving display to those that wish to observe.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Natural Areas and Preserves will be conducting a free educational program on the American woodcock at Chaparral Prairie State Nature Preserve on Wednesday, March 25 beginning at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to participate as professional naturalists offer a presentation on the amazing life history of the American woodcock and the opportunity for first hand observation of the courtship rituals of these birds.

The program is free, suitable for all ages, and will be held at Chaparral Prairie State Nature Preserve, 209 Hawk Hill Road, West Union, Ohio. GPS coordinates are N38°50.422’ W083°34.427’. For more information about the program, call 937-544-9750. To learn more about Ohio’s state nature preserve system visit