Another of my "birder" poems, this one a Shakespearean sonnet. Like a hummingbird, a male woodcock is a great romancer, but he leaves the chick-raising duties to the females. Lots of these fellows on Cape Cod this winter.
The timberdoodle forages for worms
In a bosky brake. Brush snipe he’s also called,
And hokumpoke, in local color terms.
He holds his plump brown body like a bald
And long-billed burgermeister. Early spring,
He sounds his plaintive peent, then like a thistle
Tossed on an updraft, circles chirruping
For a mate: a suave display, a smooth wolf-whistle,
For one known too as bogsucker. He’ll strut
To lure a hen or earthworm, though on nights
When desperation forces him to glut
Himself on centipedes or snails, he fights
To stand on firm patrician soil. His legsDance pas de deux, but she can keep the eggs.