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.

Contact Information

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



A large bird with brown feathers, white head, and yellow beak flies against a pale blue sky
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,...