Distribution and resource selection of nesting American woodcock

Brooke Dodge


Prior studies of American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) resource selection in Rhode Island has focused on males, but very little attention has been given to the resource selection or nesting ecology of females. Best management practices for American woodcock populations in Rhode Island cannot be fully implemented until we have characterized the resource selection and distribution of both sexes. From mid-March thru early-June 2020 we used a combination of trained pointing dogs and radio-telemetry to search for woodcock nests in state management areas throughout Southern RI. The distribution and resource selection of nesting woodcock was then analyzed using a combination of geospatial processing programs and statistical modelling. Compared to available sites, female woodcock nest sites were closer to streams. This study should be conducted over the course of additional breeding seasons in order to garner a larger sample size that would determine any factors that may affect resource selection.