American Woodcock Population Status, 2022

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American Woodcock Population Status, 2022

The American woodcock is a popular game bird throughout eastern North America. The management objective of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is to stabilize woodcock populations, while ultimately returning the population to a level that occurred in the early 1970s (Kelley et al. 2008). Reliable annual population estimates, harvest estimates, and information on recruitment and distribution are essential for comprehensive woodcock management. Unfortunately, this information is difficult and often impractical to obtain. Woodcock are difficult to find and count because of their cryptic coloration, small size, and preference for areas with dense vegetation. The Singing-ground Survey (SGS) was developed to provide indices to changes in abundance. The Parts-collection Survey (PCS) provides annual indices of woodcock recruitment. The Harvest Information Program (HIP) utilizes a sampling frame of woodcock hunters to estimate harvest and hunter days spent afield. This report summarizes the results of these surveys and presents an assessment of the population status of woodcock as of early June 2022. The report is intended to assist managers in regulating the sport harvest of woodcock and to draw attention to areas where management actions are needed. Historical woodcock hunting regulations are summarized in Appendix A.

Grayscale U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service logo
Wildlife Biologist
Migratory Birds,
Webless Migratory Game Bird Program
Additional Role(s)
Webless Migratory Game Bird Biologist,
Acting Chief for the Branch of Assessment and Decision Support,
Oversees the Webless Migratory Game Bird Program,
Mourning Dove Wingbee Coordinator
Becky Rau, USFWS
Wildlife Biologist
Migratory Birds
Additional Role(s)
Data Administrator,
American Woodcock Singing-ground Survey National Coordinator,
American Woodcock Wingbee Coordinator,
Branch of Monitoring and Data Management Technical Team Member,
Migratory Bird Program Website Team Member,
Migratory Bird Program Data Management Team Member
Publication date
Type of document
Annual Report
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The Migratory Bird Program works with partners to protect, restore and conserve bird populations and their habitats for the benefit of future generations by: ensuring long-term ecological sustainability of all migratory bird populations, increasing socioeconomic benefits derived from birds,...
Subject tags
Game birds
Migratory birds
Population status
Work of the Service