The American Woodcock Singing-Ground Survey is conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Canadian Wildlife Service, state and provincial agencies, and volunteers each spring throughout the woodcock breeding range in the US and Canada. This survey exploits the conspicuous courtship behavior of the male woodcock, which consists of an aerial display and sounds produced by vocalizations and wingbeats during a spiraling, descending flight. Counts of singing male woodcock along numerous routes in the eastern half of the U.S. and Canada provide an index to woodcock abundance, and are used to estimate woodcock population trends for states, provinces, management regions, and the continent. The survey is the major source of information considered in the annual setting of woodcock hunting seasons. These data can also be used to examine the effects of weather, landscape change, and other factors on woodcock population abundance.
For more information on the population status of American woodcock, please visit the American Woodcock Population Status Report Library Collection.