name = Woodcock

image_width = 250px
image_caption = American Woodcock
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
ordo = Charadriiformes
familia = Scolopacidae
genus = "Scolopax"
genus_authority = Linnaeus, 1758
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision =
* Eurasian Woodcock, "S. rusticola"
* Amami Woodcock, "S. mira"
* Bukidnon Woodcock, "S. bukidnonensis"
* Dusky Woodcock, "S. saturata"
* Sulawesi Woodcock, "S. celebensis"
* Moluccan Woodcock, "S. rochussenii"
* American Woodcock, "S. minor"For prehistoric species, see article text.

The woodcocks are a group of seven extant very similar wading bird species in the genus "Scolopax", characterised by a long slender bill and cryptic brown and blackish plumage. Only two woodcocks are widespread, the others being localised island species. Their closest relatives are the typical snipes of the genus "Gallinago" (Thomas "et al.", 2004).

These are woodland birds which feed at night or in the evenings, searching for invertebrates in soft ground with their long bills. Unlike in most birds the tip of the upper mandible is flexible. [Mousley, H. (1934) The earliest (1805) unpublished drawings of the flexibility of the upper mandible of the woodcock's bill. Auk. 51(3):297-301] This habit and their unobtrusive plumage makes it difficult to see them when they are resting in the day. The tiny feathers that are located at the first joint of the woodcock's wings are referred to as "pin feathers" and these are much sought after by artists for fine painting work.

Most have distinctive displays known as roding, usually given at dawn or dusk. These are birds with stocky bodies and long bills. They have eyes set on the sides of their heads, which gives them almostSpecify|date=March 2008 360° vision.Fact|date=March 2008

A number of woodcocks have become extinct long ago and are known only from fossil or subfossil bones. Due to their close relationship to the "Gallinago" snipes, the woodcocks are a fairly young group of birds, even considering that the Charadriiformes themselves are an ancient lineage. "Gallinago" and "Scolopax" diverged probably around the Late Miocene, some 10-5 mya.

* "Scolopax baranensis" (fossil, Early Pliocene of Hungary) - a "nomen nudum"
* "Scolopax carmesinae" (fossil, Early/Middle Pliocene? of Menorca, Mediterranean)
* "Scolopax hutchensi" (fossil, Late Pliocene - Early Pleistocene of Florida, USA)
* Puerto Rican Woodcock, "Scolopax anthonyi" (prehistoric)


* Hayman, Marchant and Prater, "Shorebirds" ISBN 0-873403-19-4
* McKelvie, Colin Laurie : "Woodcock and Snipe: Conservation and Sport" (Swan Hill, 1993)
* Thomas, Gavin H.; Wills, Matthew A. & Székely, Tamás (2004): A supertree approach to shorebird phylogeny. "BMC Evol. Biol." 4: 28. doi|10.1186/1471-2148-4-28 [http://www.pubmedcentral.org/picrender.fcgi?artid=515296&blobtype=pdf PDF fulltext] [http://www.pubmedcentral.org/articlerender.fcgi?artid=515296#supplementary-material-sec Supplementary Material]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Woodcock — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Charles Woodcock (1850–1923), Liebhaber des Königs Karl 1. von Württemberg George Woodcock (1912–1995), kanadischer Autor, Anarchist, Essayist und Literaturkritiker Harold Mellor Woodcock (18??–19??),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Woodcock — Wood cock , n. [AS. wuducoc.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of several species of long billed limicoline birds belonging to the genera {Scolopax} and {Philohela}. They are mostly nocturnal in their habits, and are highly esteemed as game… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Woodcock — Borough de los Estados Unidos …   Wikipedia Español

  • Woodcock — Woodcock, PA U.S. borough in Pennsylvania Population (2000): 146 Housing Units (2000): 57 Land area (2000): 0.561118 sq. miles (1.453290 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.561118 sq. miles… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Woodcock, PA — U.S. borough in Pennsylvania Population (2000): 146 Housing Units (2000): 57 Land area (2000): 0.561118 sq. miles (1.453290 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.561118 sq. miles (1.453290 sq. km)… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • woodcock — [wood′käk΄] n. pl. woodcocks or woodcock [ME wodekoc < OE wuducoc < wudu,WOOD1 + coc, a COCK1] 1. a migratory European shorebird (Scolopax rusticola) with short legs and a long bill, of the same family (Scolopacidae) as snipe: it is hunted… …   English World dictionary

  • woodcock — O.E. wuducoc, from wudu wood (n.) + coc cock …   Etymology dictionary

  • woodcock — ► NOUN (pl. same) ▪ a long billed woodland bird of the sandpiper family, with brown plumage …   English terms dictionary

  • woodcock — /wood kok /, n., pl. woodcocks, (esp. collectively) woodcock for 1, 2. 1. either of two plump, short legged migratory game birds of variegated brown plumage, the Eurasian Scolopax rusticola and the smaller American Philohela minor. 2. any of… …   Universalium

  • Woodcock — This interesting surname is of Anglo Saxon origin, and has two possible sources. Firstly, the surname may be a nickname for a naive person, from the Middle English woodcock , a compound of the Olde English pre 7th Century wude , wood, and cocc ,… …   Surnames reference

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.