Trivia question for Nov-18-2011

Posted on Nov 18, 2011 in Trivia

Carter found the way these guys can camouflage themselves interesting so he wanted to make this bird his trivia for the day.  These birds forage in soft soil in thickets, usually well hidden from sight. They mainly eat earthworms, but also insects and their larvae, freshwater molluscs and some plant seeds. Because they rely on probing into the ground to find food, they are vulnerable to cold winter weather when the ground remains frozen. During the cold British winter of 1962-3, these starving birds were found feeding in urban areas and some were even forced to eat bird seed.

These birds are crepuscular (most active at dawn and dusk) and rarely active during the day unless flushed, when they fly off with a whirring wing noise. The flight is somewhat owl- or bat-like; they fly fast and direct while migrating or crossing open country, but fly erratically with twisting and fluttering once in woodland. They are usually solitary and migrate singly, but may congregate when weather or geographical conditions force them to do so.

So here are Carter’s questions: Tell us what this bird is called and tell us what they do to get predators away from their nest? Also, tell us how many of the newborn die before they are 1-year old?

Good Luck 😉


Congratulations goes out this time to one of Olivia and Carter’s classmates Marleena Tamminen from Peachtree City GA for being the first with the correct answer. The hard to see bird we featured is the Eurasian Woodcock. The Eurasian Woodcock, is a medium-small wading bird found in temperate and subarctic Eurasia. It has cryptic camouflage to suit its woodland habitat, with reddish-brown upper-parts and buff-colored underparts. Its eyes are set far back on its head to give it 360-degree vision and it probes in the ground for food with its long, sensitive bill, making it vulnerable to cold weather when the ground remains frozen.

And as Marleena pointed out, the female feigns injury to lead the predator away from the nest.  And unfortunately, more than half of all woodcocks die before they are a year old.  In parts of northern Europe, as many as three-quarters of those that hatch die within the first few months.

Here’s and interesting fact:  In the United Kingdom, the early arrival of migrant Woodcock in autumn was said to mean a good harvest, especially if they stayed until spring. It used to be thought that Eurasian Woodcock flew to the moon during the months when they were not seen and the first full moon in November, when large numbers arrive on the British coast, is sometimes described as the ‘woodcock moon.  Here is more on these cool birds: Eurasian Woodcock

Thanks for playing along 😉