About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What's the slowest flying bird?

The slowest-flying bird in the world is the American Woodcock, which manages to avoid falling out of the sky while flying at only 5 mph during an elaborate courtship routine.

American Woodcock Scolopax minor

Order: CHARADRIIFORMES Family: Sandpipers (Scolopacidae)

The well camouflaged American Woodcock nests in Michigan’s moist woodlands and damp thickets. It normally goes about its business in a quiet and reclusive manner, but during courtship the male woodcock launches into the air, twittering upward in a circular flight display until, with wings partly folded, he plummets to the ground in the zigzag pattern of a falling leaf, chirping at every turn. At the end of this stunning “sky dance,” he lands precisely where he started.

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