Sunday, March 21, 2010

Woodcocks - Speed-daters of the avian world?

I spent several evenings this week observing the courtship rituals of American Woodcocks in Urbana's Meadowbrook Park. Each evening the display flights lasted maybe 15-20 minutes. If they display this way at dawn, as well, it means they spend maybe only 30 minutes a day in courtship/mating rituals.

Contrast this with most other birds who are on the go for hours a day during mating season...singing continously, claiming territory, etc. Think Red-winged Blackbird, for example.

I'm thinking that woodcocks might be one of the most efficient of birds when it comes to the time invested in mating/breeding. Sort of like the speed-daters of the avian world. :-)

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