Wilson, Alexander, 1766-1813. / American ornithology; or The natural history of the birds of the United States
Species 2. Scolopax minor. Woodcock, pp. -108
SPECIES 2. SCOLOP6X MINOR. WOODCOCK. [Plate XLVIII.-Fig. 2.] Arct. Zool. p. 463, ANo. 365.-TURT. Syst. 396.* THIs bird, like the preceding,t is universally known to our sportsmen. It arrives in Pennsylvania early in March, some- times sooner; and I doubt not but in mild winters some few re- main with us the whole of that season. During the day, they keep to the woods and thickets, and at the approach of evening seek the springs, and open watery places, to feed in. They soon disperse themselves over the country to breed. About the be- ginning of July, particularly in long continued hot weather, they descend to the marshy shores of our large rivers, their fa- vourite springs and watery recesses, inland, being chiefly dried up. To the former of these retreats they are pursued by the merciless sportsman, flushed by dogs, and shot down in great numbers. This species of amusement, when eagerly followed, is still more laborious and fatiguing than that of Snipe-Shooting; and from the nature of the ground, or cripple as it is usually call- ed, viz. deep mire, intersected with old logs, which are cover- ed and hid from sight 'by high reeds, weeds and alder bushes, the best dogs are soon tired out; and it is customary with sports- men, who regularly pursue this diversion, to have two sets of dogs, to relieve each other alternately. The Woodcock usually begins to lay in April. The nest is placed on the ground, in a retired part of the woods, frequently at the root of an old stump. It is formed of a few withered leaves, and stalks of grass, laid with very little art. The female lays 'Scolopax minor, LATH. bid. Orn. p. 714, No. 2. Gen. Syn. 3, p. 131. t That is, the common Rail, which precedes the Woodcock in the original edi- tion.
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