Woodcock is a name given to 6 species of shorebirds of the sandpiper family (Scolopacidae).

Range and Habitat

Woodcocks occur in open woodlands with damp soil. American woodcock (Scolopax minor), the only species in Canada, breed in eastern North America from southern Canada (southeastern Manitoba and southwestern Newfoundland) to southern Texas, and winter in the southern US.


The woodcocks' characteristic long, straight bills are very flexible at the tip and can be opened below the soil surface to grasp prey (earthworms). The skull is much modified to accommodate the large eyes; hence, the ear openings are located under instead of behind the eyes as in other birds.