Ohio hunters not wild about woodcock as bird's count in state shrinks


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RGS in the News

The original article "Outdoors | Ohio hunters not wild about woodcock as bird’s count in state shrinks" by Dave Golowenski was published by The Columbus Dispatch Sunday, October 11, 2015 at 4:59 AM http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/sports/2015/10/11/1011-outdoors-main.html.  Eric Ellis, RGS regional biologist for Ohio, Michigan and Indiana was interviewed for the article.

American woodcock 

A handsomely plumed, plump, robin-sized bird sporting short legs, a large head and a long bill built for probing damp earth, the American woodcock almost demands that its anatomy be seen in caricature.

“It looks like it was built of spare parts,” said Eric Ellis, eastern Great Lakes biologist for the Ruffed Grouse Society. “Their ears are located between their bill and their eyes. They have a prehensile bill, meaning they can open just the tip of it to grab earthworms underground. Their brain is upside down.”

And although it breeds in Ohio and passes through it during spring and autumn migrations — flying, presumably right-side up, about 50 feet above ground at night — the woodcock, always a furtive presence, is being seen less and less.

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Mission Statement

Established in 1961, the Ruffed Grouse Society is North America's foremost conservation organization dedicated to preserving our sporting traditions by creating healthy forest habitat for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and other wildlife. RGS works with landowners and government agencies to develop critical habitat utilizing scientific management practices.

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