From Woodcock to Worms

Check out my ongoing research.

Woodcock Watch, NJ

The official window to survey for woodcock displays ended earlier this month.  As I have time between finals, grading, and preparing for my qualifying exam, I’ve been entering data. So far it looks promising (?)…. But I’m curious to begin exploring the possible explanations for why we found woodcock in some locations and not in others.  I don’t want to wait until next season!

One thing worth noting is that New Jersey has been in a mild, prolonged drought state most of the spring. Perhaps this has some impact on woodcock distribution (impact of drought on woodcock has been  studied elsewhere). Earthworms are sensitive to soil moisture levels. They don’t like it too wet (they come up out of the soil in  the rain and then fry when  the sun comes out), but they probably don’t like soil that’s too dry either.

USDoought_May12 Drought map showing northern New Jersey  (where all…

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