American Woodcock Restoration Project
The American woodcock, Scolopax minor, is an interesting bird that’s related to sandpipers, and lives in the Eastern Forests of the United States. The woodcock is not only known for its unusual appearance, call, and eating habits, but also for its incredible aerial acrobatics during mating season.
Unfortunately, the American woodcock’s population has been in decline since the 1970’s due primarily to habitat loss.
About the project
By creating and stewarding shrubland and young forest at Hopewell Borough Park, this project will help to conserve this special community of wildlife.
The American Woodcock Habitat Restoration Project is an innovative program developed by the Sourland Conservancy, Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space, and Mercer County Park Commission with support from The New Jersey Conservation Foundation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife. Instead of traditional deer fencing, the project incorporates natural material including discarded Christmas trees to protect the tender plantings from deer damage.
As the shrubland matures, the park will welcome some of the Eastern seaboard’s more rare breeding birds – as well as neotropical migratory species. In addition to the American Woodcock, many other birds will benefit from the restored habitat: the chestnut-sided warbler, black and white warbler, American redstart, common yellowthroat, white-throated sparrow, dark-eyed junco, eastern kingbird, eastern towhee, fox sparrow, yellow warbler, yellow-bellied flycatcher, prairie warbler, indigo bunting, chestnut-sided warbler, blue-winged warbler, field sparrow, yellow-breasted chat, and more!