Winter Storm Grounds Some Rarely Seen Birds

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Tuesday’s snow storm canceled flights — and not just for human travelers. The storm also grounded migrating woodcocks, a type of shorebird that lives in the woods.

The American Woodcock, also known as the Timberdoodle, is a goofy-looking bird about the size of baked potato, with a long, tweezer-like beak that it uses to probe the ground for worms.

Manager of wildlife rehabilitation Michele Wellard says the Schuylkill Center Wildlife Clinic may get three or four woodcocks in a single season. This past week, they got 14.

“They were dotted all over the city, but mostly in Center City and surrounding urban areas.”

Wellard says they were in bad shape “and had to be tube-fed.”

“Some of them were so weak, we couldn’t wait for them to eat on their own, if they ever would.”

Woodcocks are so easily stressed, says Wellard, that they can’t be held in the clinic for long.

“We were able to successfully release a few of them, and there’re a few we’re still working on, and a few of them didn’t make it. But the ones that we released, they just took off and flew off beautifully.”

More from Molly Daly
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