How to Catch Woodcock Chicks
During the breeding season, we will make periodic visits to each research site. At each site we will locate the most likely habitat for woodcock nests (forests without much cover) and nestling-rearing habitat (young forest with lots of cover).
If we locate a brooding female, we will make a note of the nest site, but not interact with her to avoid causing her to abandon the nest.
When we find a female, with chicks, one team member will cautiously sneak up on the brood a drop a large (think very large butterfly net) over them. When the nestlings are young, the mother will freeze rather than attempting to run, allowing us to safely drop a net around them.
With a brood secured, we will quickly weigh, age, band, and if the young are sufficiently large enough), we will apply the radio transmitters. If the young are not old enough, a transmitter will be applied to the mother and we will return when the young are old enough.
Survival of the chicks can be determined by remotely monitoring the radio signals from each transmitter.