How to Catch Male Woodcocks
Data collection will take place over three consecutive nights. Two evenings will be spent collecting observational data as per the recommendations in McAuley et al. (1993) to pinpoint the singing-ground sites within each habitat (McAuley et al., 1993). This will consist of at least two people arriving on site before sunset and staying for at least one hour or until woodcock activity ceases. They will have a map upon will to pinpoint the location of each active male. (Males will often have one specific site on the ground from which they will "peent" (their call), take off and land). Two evenings should allow sufficient time to get a sense of the locations of all woodcock on site.
On the third night, a larger team will arrive on the site at least an hour before sunset. This team will have at least one individual with a permit to handle the birds. Using the map drawn up the previous two evenings, the team will set up 6m mist nets surrounding the singing ground sites to capture displaying males as they fly in and out of the site.
Captured males will be sexed, aged, weighed, banded and radio tagged. Radio transmitters will be a 4.5g radio (VHF) Lotek tag that has a lifespan of 1.5 years allowing within and following season detections (Lotek, http://www.lotek.com). Radio tags will be attached with a harness following the recommendations of McAuley, Longcore, & Sepek (1993).