European Woodcock Nesting in July

An unusual phenomenon in the bird life occurred in the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve – the European woodcock roding (the spring mating flight) in the mid-July.

Normally, the European woodcock performs roding intensely from early April to late May; sometimes some individuals continue roding to mid-June. However, this year Yury Buyvolov, a PhD in Biology, the reserve Deputy Director of Scientific Research, an ornithologist witnessed the European woodcock roding on July 16! And on July 19 Sergey Albov, a PhD in Biology, a zoologist found a woodcock nest with a clutch of four eggs.

— Due to ornithologists using modern techniques of radio-labelling, for more than 30 years scientists managed to learn a lot about the life of the European woodcock and its territorial behavior, – says Yury Buyvolov. – Though the woodcock nesting is still studied poorly. According to my colleagues’ observations, I can suppose that most likely the renesting is not necessarily connected with a clutch loss.

Due to the high reproducibility, the population can stand a great hunting pressure in Western Europe, and the number of the woodcock remains relatively high. Renesting during the summer, most probably, is quite a common, but poorly studied phenomenon. For example, in recent decades there has been recorded a decrease in the number of woodcocks nesting in the Moscow region. It can be assumed that being low in number, renesting is a compensatory mechanism. However, it is only a hypothesis, to check it research and researchers are needed.