The American Woodcock has a plump body, short legs, a large, rounded head, and a long, straight prehensile bill. Adults are 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm) long and weigh (140 to 230 g). Females are considerably larger than males.The bill is 2.5 to 2.75 inches (6.4 to 7.0 cm) long.

Habitat and Distribution

Woodcock inhabit forested and mixed forest-agricultural-urban areas east of the 98th Meridian. Woodcock have been sighted as far north as York Factory, Manitoba, east to Labrador and Newfoundland. In winter, they migrate as far south as the Gulf Coast States.


Woodcock eat mainly invertebrates, particularly earthworms (Oligochaeta). They do most of their feeding in places where the soil is moist. They forage by probing in soft soil in thickets, where they usually remain well-hidden from sight. Other items in the diet include insect larvae, snails, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, snipe flies, beetles, and ants. A small amount of plant food is eaten, mainly seeds


The female american woodcock makes its nest from leaves and twigs in a shallowly dug depression. It lays between 1 and 5 greyish-orange eggs with multi-colour patches that hatch in about three weeks.

Calls and Songs

The male's ground call is a short, buzzy peent. In flight the american woodcock makes is a liquid, chirping song.