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The American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) is one of the earliest ground-nesting birds in the northeastern United States. In Maine, nesting begins in early April when temperatures can drop below freezing and significant snowfall can accumulate. Nests are usually in open woods, where eggs are laid on the ground in a shallow depression (Pettingill 1936, Mendall and Aldous 1943, Sheldon 1967). Peak hatching occurs in early May (Dwyer et al. 1982), when temperatures are cool and precipitation is common. Woodcock chicks are dependent on the female for most of their food for at least seven days after hatching (Gregg 1984). During cool, wet weather, chicks require constant brooding by females; prolonged periods of inclement...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: The Auk
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An improved method of automatically monitoring nest attentiveness was designed and tested using radio-equipped American Woodcock (Scolopax minor). Shielded coaxial cable (RG-58) was extended from a receiver and placed 30 cm above the nest, with a 3.8 cm section of the inner wire exposed. Presence, absence, and activity of birds within 10.1 ? 5.2 m (SD) of the nest were clearly indicated on a Rustrak recorder while extraneous signal interference was minimized.
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The purpose of this study is to develop woodcock(Philohela minor) management techniques that can be easily used by the small landowner or incorporated with other land management operations such as commercial timber harvesting. The Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge contains areas which are characteristic of the abandoned farms now being purchased for recreation or retirement as well as areas suitable for commercial forest management. Woodcock management, beginning in 1973, has centered on rejuvenation of diurnal habitat and creation of summer fields and singing grounds. Strips (10 mwide, 25 to 125 mlong and separated by 40 m) were clear~cut in two alder (Alnus sp.) stands resulting in increased diurnal use in at...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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We estimated summer-fall survival for 32 adult and 96 fledged young American woodcock radiotagged in eastern Maine during 1982-84 using single-interval, multiple-interval, and nonparametric methods
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During spring 1986-89, we equipped 175 male and 89 female American woodcocks (Scolopax minor) with radio transmitters. Radio-marking had little effect on behavior; within 1 day of marking, 37 of 64 (58%) displaying males were dominant and within 7 days, 138 of 157 (88%) were dominant. All females marked before nesting proceeded to nest, and marked females with broods remained with broods after release. Dominance of males declined from 73% in April to 69% in May and to 26% in June as breeding activity waned. In all years, after-second-year (ASY) males were dominant more often than second-year (SY) males (67.5% vs. 58.9%). ;Most males displayed at more than one (range = 2-12) site. Distances that males moved between...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Report
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Geographic information system (GIS) technology was used to identify habitats available to and used by male American woodcock (Scolopax minor) equipped with radio transmitters--54 in 1987, 51 in 1988, 46 in 1989 at Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, Maine. Woodcock were monitored from time of capture (25 March-15 April) to 15 June each year. To determine habitat selection by male woodcock, the following habitat characteristics were measured: land cover, age and stocking density of the forest overstory, soil drainage and texture, aspect, and percent slope. Habitat selection was examined as affected by the covariates weather and age-class of woodcock, and among years for diurnal and crepuscular periods of the breeding...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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A population of American woodcock (Scolopax minor) was studied on a 3,401-ha area of the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Maine from 1976 through 1985. During 1976-83, from 4 to 64 clearcuts were created each year, opening up large contiguous blocks of forest. A combination of mist nets, ground traps, nightlighting techniques, and trained dogs were used to capture and band 1,884 birds during the first 5 years. Capture and recapture data (totaling 3,009 observations) were used with both demographically closed and open population models to estimate population size and, for open population models, summer survival. Flying young, especially young males, represented the greatest proportion of all captures;...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Fish and Wildlife Research
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We describe methods for the study of the American woodcock (Scolopax minor) at the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge. Described are techniques for the capture of particular age-sex cohorts during different times of the year, the aging and sexing, the evaluation of habitat components, and the estimation of population size. We describe successful and tried but rejected techniques with radio-telemetry for the study of survival and habitat use.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Report
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We critiqued previous work on the biology and management of the American woodcock (Scolopax minor) on the breeding grounds. We determined that little is known about habitat variables and weather extremes that may limit the population. Most investigators who attempted to define habitat requirements of the woodcock used inadequate sample sizes, limited the duration of their studies, did not account for effects of weather, or failed to adequately measure habitat variables. Furthermore, the effects of hunting on local or regional populations has never been adequately studied. We concluded that obtaining data to understand the biology of the woodcock and the effects of hunting is essential before managers can reverse...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Report
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We measured characteristics of habitat near 89 nests of American woodcock (Scolopax minor) and 100 randomly selected points on Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, Calais, Maine, an area managed for woodcock. At nest sites, basal area was lower (P < 0.001), densities of deciduous saplings were greater (P < 0.001), densities of coniferous saplings were lower (P = 0.001), densities of shrub stems were greater (P = 0.002), and height of trees was shorter (P = 0.001) than at random sites. Nest sites were closer to openings (P < 0.001) than were random sites. Nests were in 15 cover types. The aspen (Populus spp.), tamarack (Larix laricina), and alder (Alnus rugosa) types were used as nest sites more often than expected...
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The authors investigated the survival of breeding male American woodcock in Washington County, Maine. A total of 150 birds were radio-arked during 1987-1989 and relationships were evaluated between survival, body mass, predation, weather, and habitat use. Survival varied from 0.690 (1989) to 0.924 (1988), with a 3-year mean (95% confidence interval) of 0.789 (0.693-0.885)
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Canadian Journal of Zoology
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Numbers of American woodcock (Scolopax minor) males counted on the annual singing ground survey (SGS) have declined over the last 35 years at an average rate of 2.3% per year in the Eastern Region and 1.8% per year in the Central Region. Although hunting was not thought to be a cause of these declines, mortality caused by hunters can be controlled. Furthermore, there has been no research on effects of hunting mortality on woodcock populations at local and regional levels on the breeding grounds. We used radiotelemetry to determine survival rates and causes of mortality for 913 woodcock captured during fall 1997?2000 on 7 areas in Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Vermont, USA. Three of 7 sites were closed...
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A study was initiated in 1975 at the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge to develop habitat management techniques for woodcock (Philohela minor) that could be used by small landowners as well as in commercial forestry operations. Use of selected diurnal covers by adult female and juvenile woodcock increased after strips were clearcut through these covers. Woodcock use of clearcut strips for feeding was equivalent to that in adjacent uncut areas after only 6 years of growth. Small clearings created by firewood cutters in a 1,200-ha hardwood stand increased singing male activity, but commercial forest operations were necessary to increase singing-male use in relation to the rest of the refuge. The age structure of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Research Report