Video: Deep in the Minnesota Woods, a Search for American Woodcock

American Woodcock are camouflage artists. Hiding on the forest floor, these small, round birds bank on their mottled feathers to protect them and their young from predators.

Woodcock have something in common with another declining species: Golden-winged Warblers, too, require similarly scrubby forest conditions for nesting. That means efforts by American Bird Conservancy and our many partners to actively manage habitat for Golden-winged Warblers in Minnesota also benefits the woodcock.

These birds are not easy to find. Yet each spring, volunteers brave the ticks, mosquitoes, and mud of the Minnesota woods to look for them. Using trained dogs to point out woodcock disguised among the leaf litter, these searchers are on a mission. They aim to band as many adults and chicks as possible, and tag enough birds to collect robust data.

What they learn will influence conservation actions for this declining species.

Aditi DesaiAditi Desai is a digital storyteller skilled in producing, editing, and shooting documentaries. She has a diverse background in counseling, legal advocacy, and environmental conservation work and has produced videos for clients such as The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Prince Charitable Trusts, PBS, the National Park Service, Blue Bear Films, and Discovery Communications. Aditi holds an M.F.A. in Film and Electronic Media from American University and a B.A. in Psychology from Smith College.