Family Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Least Concern

Eurasian Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola)


French: Bécasse des bois German: Waldschnepfe Spanish: Chocha perdiz

Scolopax Rusticola


, 1758,



Closely related to S. mira, with which has often been considered conspecific. Monotypic.


Azores, Madeira, Canary Is and British Is through N & C Europe and C Asia to Sakhalin I and Japan; also Caucasus, NW China and Himalayas (N Pakistan to N Myanmar). Winters from W & S Europe and N Africa to SE Asia. Traditionally considered rare winter visitor to Philippines (Luzon), but recent work indicated that at least some sightings there referred to a previously undescribed species (on Mindanao and Luzon) (see S. bukidnonensis).

Descriptive notes

33–35 cm; 131–420 g (mean c. 300 g); wingspan 56–60 cm. Bill long and straight, but relatively shorter than congeners; thick transverse bars on crown,... read more


Male’s roding song (see also Breeding) usually comprises 2–5 slow but accelerating deep croaking or... read more


During breeding season occurs in moist forests, where favours mosaic habitats, and extensive... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly animals, with some plant matter, especially in spring. Animals include earthworms, insects and their larvae, particularly beetles,... read more


Lays from early Mar to mid Apr, late nests to mid Jul, exceptionally even Sept, but young have been recorded as early as mid Mar in UK. It... read more


Mostly migratory, though perhaps only an altitudinal migrant in Himalayas. Fenno-Scandian and some... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). African and European post-breeding population estimated at 15,000,000–37,000,000 birds (1982); c. 310,000 pairs estimated... read more

Recommended citation

Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Eurasian Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 26 February 2020).