Woodcock Banding

A female American woodcock captured at the Miller-Welch Central Kentucky WMA in Madison County, Kentucky. Nikon D7000 with AFS Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 and SB-900.


Each season as one of my projects at work, we band American Woodcock at the Miller-Welch Central Wildlife Management Area.  This season has been very hectic and there has been little time to pursue banding woodcock.  This season has also had a full moon during the peak period of migration.  We capture these birds by riding at night on ATV’s searching with spotlights.  Once we see one, you sneak up on it with a night while it is “blinded” by a spotlight.  When the moon is full, there is so much incidental light that the birds can usually see you coming in spite of the spotlight.  Thursday night was a dark and rainy night and promised to be the perfect night to trap. This seemed to be the case when five minutes into our efforts we captured this female.  Unfortunately, our equipment let us down as our ATV died shortly after this and we were left to walk back to the truck.  Oh well, such are the breaks of field research.  If you would like to see this process in action, click on the link for the Kentucky Afield YouTube video which shows the process.

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