Indiana Woman Discovers An Unexpected Surprise in the Woods
File this article in the "another reason you should go outside" category because you just never know what you might find. We should know by now that Mother Nature is full of all kinds of surprises, some frightening and dangerous, and some super cute and friendly - this story is about the latter.
Marie Hemmer was taking a stroll through the woods recently when something caught her eye. She took some pictures of that something and posted them on Facebook, that's where I saw them. I didn't immediately know what I was looking at - my first thought was that it might be some kind of mushroom. The answer became clear once I realized I was seeing the pictures on the Evansville Area Birding group. Okay, so now I know I'm looking at some kind of bird. After reading some of the comments, I learned the pictures were of a few young American Woodcocks. Would you hold it against me if I told you I chuckled at the name?
The American woodcock is also known by several fun aliases, including Timberdoodle, Bog sucker, Mudsnipe, Hokumpoke, Night Partridge, Labrador Twister, and Mud Bat. Here is how AllAboutBirds.org describes these cute little critters...
American Woodcocks are plump, short-legged shorebirds with very long, straight bills. Their large heads, short necks, and short tails give them a bulbous look on the ground and in flight. The wings are broad and rounded compared to most other shorebirds.
These unique birds spend most of their time on the ground looking for food, and as you can see, their brown, black, and gray feathers blend in with their surroundings. It's a good thing Marie was paying attention, otherwise, she could have very easily stepped on the perfectly camouflaged babies.