I'll venture to guess that virtually every birdwatcher has seen the comical video, first posted on YouTube back in 2006, of a male Red-capped Manakin performing its "moon walk" mating dance dubbed to Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean." Well, here's another featuring in this case an American Woodcock, a.k.a. timberdoodle. Unlike that of the manakin, the woodcock's fancy footwork has been suggested to be a feeding tactic used to agitate earthworm activity in the soil enabling the bird to locate its quarry. Earthworms are reported to comprise about 60% of its diet with the remaining balance being other assorted invertebrates. Feeding is done by the bird repeatedly penetrating moist, rich soil with its long (2.5-3.0") bill. The bill has a flexible tip that enables it to clasp a worm underground without the need to open the entire bill. Just what the woodcock featured in this Dance video is trying to accomplish, only it knows...perhaps rehearsing its routine for an upcoming "ice dancing" event. Anyway, while watching the clip I dare you not to be pleasantly entertained.
The video was recorded by Bill Hubick, who along with Jim Brighton have launched the Maryland Biodiversity Project, an endeavor with the goal of cataloging every living thing found in Maryland at a single website: marylandbiodiversity.com.