2024 Woodcock Watch

If you were driving on Littlefield Road in Boxborough on Monday, April 1st, you may have noticed twenty or so people sitting in the Rolling Meadows field. Not an April Fool’s Day joke, but a woodcock watch! 

Around sunset the birds start to settle in for the night, calling to each other and flying from tree to tree to find a comfortable roost. As the birds quiet down, the sky gets darker and frogs and peepers begin to trill. At that point, start listening for the distinctive “peent, peent, peent” of the woodcocks. After several peents you’ll hear a fluttering sound. Look to the sky to see woodcocks doing their courtship dance, flying in a large arc, then returning to the ground to begin the process again. While we were able to hear the “peenting” of several birds, their flight path made it challenging to see the sky flight clearly. 

An hour after sunset it was fully dark, the display was complete for the night and we all went home. If you’re interested in seeing the woodcock sky dance for yourself, head over to Rolling Meadows just before sunset through April or May, and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature for a while!