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Common name Eurasian woodcock
Scientific name Scolopax rusticola
Type Forest birds
Status Wintering

Large wader bird (approx 38 cm or 15 in). Very cryptic plumage of brown and reddish tones with a design of bars and dots that blurs it between leaf litter. Ventral zone with more creamy tones and dark streaks. Head with long bill and dark eyes, slightly displaced backwards. Short legs. Very terrestrial habits; reluctant to fly, but when it does a heavy silhouette with rounded wings stands out.


Woodland environment

Where it lives

Woodland wading species linked to leafy, humid and shady forests, where it spends great time in the soil among the litter. During the winter the Eurasian Woodcock also uses the meadows and grazing land near the forests where it is present, fruit crops and farmlands.

How it lives

Migratory bird of short distance. Twilight and nocturnal habits. Nest on the ground. One laying in spring of 2 to 5 eggs. This wader feeds on earthworms and invertebrates that it detects with its bill among the forest leaf litter. The bill works like a very sensitive probe that explores the mud and mantle of the soil under the leaf litter.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Common species in the province of Malaga, although not abundant. It can be watched especially in the forests of the west of the province (Genal valley, Sierra de las Nieves and peri-urban gardens of the Costa del Sol), but also in the Montes de Málaga, Sierra Tejeda and Almijara, Sierra de las Cabras and Sierra del Jobo. Other good places are the citrus, avocado and sugarcane fields of the fertile plains of the Grande, Guadalhorce and Velez rivers. In the Great Path it can be observed in stage 11, among others.

Curious facts

Thanks to the use of small satellite transmitters, it has been found out that the majority of Eurasian woodcocks that winter in the Iberian peninsula come from the easternmost end of Europe and even Russia. This bird is also popularly known in Spain as “Becada”, “Sorda” or “Gallinuela”. It is an excellent controller of snails, slugs and slimes, frequent pests in gardens and gardens.

Similar birds
Wintering Summer Resident Migration