Animals Video

By Luke Kenton

This adorable dancing bird showcases some mesmerizing moves during a hilarious strut – but the reason behind the movement remain a mystery.  

Noted for its long, narrow bill, the American woodcock may soon to become renowned for its impressive dance moves, too, as one of the shorebirds was captured showcasing some impressive steps in Baring, Maine, on April 6. 

Caught in the act by U.S Fish and Wildlife Service refuge manager Keith Ramos, the tiny timberdoodle gyrates back and forth as he steps forward in an amusing motion, resembling a strange dance. 

Though little is known about the reason behind this rhythmic walk, it’s believed the woodcock could be attempting to dislodge earthworms beneath the surface of the ground. 

Native to the Eastern US, Keith has encountered a large number of woodcocks during his time at the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, but admits this is the first time he’s seen such a performance in person. 

Keith said: “This unusual strutting motion of the woodcock doesn’t yet seem to have a name. 

“No-one is exactly sure why they walk this way sometimes.

“It has been suggested by experts that this type of movement may cause earthworms to move beneath the surface, allowing the bird to detect and capture them. 

“This ‘rock-walking’ isn’t believed to be associated with mating behavior, as usually the male bird will establish a ‘singing ground’, where the two bird will dance and join each other in song. 

“I’ve seen American woodcocks in the wild before, but this was my first time seeing one perform this strutting walk – it was incredible. 

“I spotted it on the entrance road to the refuge, grabbing my camera and starting filming. 

“It was wonderful to see first-hand.”