Family Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Least Concern

New Guinea Woodcock (Scolopax rosenbergii)


French: Bécasse de Nouvelle-Guinée German: Neuguineaschnepfe Spanish: Chocha papúa

Scolopax Rosenbergii


, 1871,

Arfak Mountains, New Guinea


Usually treated as conspecific with S. saturata, but differs in having main cryptic colour pattern a shade darker (virtually black) brown and a shade richer orange-brown (ns[1]); feathers of underparts individually broader (judged by eye), allowing broader dark barring to appear more regular and organized, and, because of stronger colours, also rather bolder (2); white on underparts cleaner, and more extensive both across and down belly (2); buffy white on chin much more restricted owing to wedge of cryptic plumage running up to base of bill, creating a whitish malar effect (2); sometimes white above loral line in front of eye (ns); longer bill and tarsus (effect size for tarsus 1.8; score 1). Monotypic.


Mountains of New Guinea.

Descriptive notes

30 cm; 189–220 g. Similar to formerly conspecific S. saturata, but the two are wholly allopatric and this species is the only woodcock in New Guinea, where it can... read more


Song is a quite rapid “cree, cree, cree, quo, quo, quo...” or “chuuwi...quorr-quorr-quorr-... read more


Montane primary cloud forest with moderate or dense understorey, at 2300–3800 m, occasionally lower... read more

Food and feeding

Stomach contents of three specimens included “worms, grubs, small beetles and other insects”. Almost nothing else known, but feeds... read more


Very poorly known. Roding flights observed Aug–Sept in Papua New Guinea, while a female was collected while incubating an egg in mid Mar in... read more


None known.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). No estimates of population size. Not uncommon, but inconspicuous, even secretive, so infrequently recorded; known from Bird’s Head (... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). New Guinea Woodcock (Scolopax rosenbergii). 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).