Have you ever been so happy while hunting that you couldn’t help but dance?
Well, that’s exactly how the American woodcock in this video feels after catching some tasty morsels for dinner. Not that we can blame it. I often do a happy dance after finding some cookies in the cupboard. But that’s a story for another day.
View the curious video below and see what lessons this bird can teach us as hunters.
More from Wide Open Spaces:
The American woodcock (also known as timberdoodle, bogsucker, hokumpoke and night partridge) has some amazing adaptations for surviving among moist forest floors and brushy edges.
According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the bird has a flexible bill with a tip that is full of nerve endings that detect the slightest movements in the soil. The bill also works as a probe of sorts. The woodcock’s diet primarily includes worms, but also various insects, such as beetles and grasshoppers, and insect larvae.
As to the curious behavior in the video, representatives at the Department of Natural Resources believe the bird thumps its feet on the ground to agitate worms and insects. Then it thrusts its bill into the ground to locate and pluck these critters from the loose leaf litter and soil. The “dance” seen in the video is really the bird’s method of spurring its prey from the leaf litter, much like hunters use a dog to flush woodcock and grouse from thick cover.
The next time you go bird hunting, take a lesson from the woodcock. Consider doing a little jig, and maybe you’ll land more birds for dinner. If nothing else, you’ll get some entertaining looks from your dog.