While on one of the birding trips for the Detroit Lakes Festival of Birds, we visited Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge. There had been a woodcock nesting right off a trail near the Nature Center. As we walked towards it, the female appeared to have moved to right on the trail. The refuge staff suspected that her eggs had hatched. They are precocial when hatched meaning they can run around. She was probably moving them from the nest, heard us coming and froze tucking the young beneath her. Can you make her out in the above photo?
There she lurks, most likely thinking, “Haha, humans, you can’t see me, I am invisible!” We didn’t get too close and after everyone had a chance to see her, we went back the way we came from. I always wonder how may owls I walk past, now I have to wonder how many woodcocks and their chicks escape my notice.
Here’s the first photo with an arrow pointing to the woodcock: