WI Woodcock Projects, Favored Habitat

March 9, 2011 | By | Reply More

(Photo: missourihuntingspanielclub.com)

The Ruffed Grouse Society, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a few other groups recently announced “at least 10” projects to help improve woodcock habitat in Wisconsin.

Any such work is much appreciated by us birdmen since unfortunately woodies are in the same boat as many gamebirds: populations are trending down.

“With a steady population decline of about 1.6% per year since 1968, woodcock are currently listed as a ‘Species of Greatest Conservation Need’ in Wisconsin,” RGS stated. “This decline has been attributed to a loss of habitat due to many factors such as human development, natural aging of habitat and changing management practices.”

Yep. We still can’t believe the majority of our society thinks it’s bad to cut trees. However that happened, all of us need to turn it around.

Couple more interesting items:

1. If you live or hunt in WI, some pertinent info:

> “RGS was brought in to regenerate over mature tag alder stands used as feeding sites by the birds and also to maintain nearby grassy openings used by woodcock for breeding and roosting.

> Many of the habitat projects have occurred on Wisconsin County Forests, in Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Marinette, Price, Shawano and Wood Counties. [Put big Ws on your atlas!]

2. RGS biologist Gary Zimmer says, “The favorite haunts of woodcock are alder thickets and young aspen stands,” both of which “require periodic disturbance of some form in order to remain a quality environment for woodcock.”

[That may be true of WI or the upper Midwest in general, but is not true everywhere. Certainly not Louisiana, for example, and we’ve found tons of Maine woodies in a mix of pines and small maples. Your tip of the day!]

Good for the King

Last but not least, all of this habitat work is great for woodcock, and this also should be great for the king of all gamebirds – the furry chicken!

Category: Feds, Forest Management, Ruffed Grouse Society, WI, Woodcock

Leave a Reply