Family: (Scolopacidae) Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies
Preferred Habitat: Thickets and damp fields
Seasonal Occurrence: Occasional in winter
Notes: At first glance the American Woodcock doesn't look much like a shorebird, but it is, in fact, closely related to snipes and dowitchers. It is very secretive and forages during the night for earthworms, using its long bill as a probing tool. The American Woodcock is famous for its spectacular nocturnal courtship displays, where the male performs an aerial dance while emitting a musical twittering. Call: a nasal pzeent. Best months to look for the American Woodcock in Houston are December and January. Males may be displaying at this time. Occasionally American Woodcocks have been found in Memorial Park during the Buffalo Bayou Christmas Count. In the winters of 2005 and 2006 woodcocks have been in Bear Creek Park.
- Susan Billetdeaux