Protocol for monitoring the age-ratios of woodcock collected in the fall

Objective: Every autumn we have accurate information on the age-ratio of woodcock caught during the banding outings in Central Europe. The data collected makes it possible to feed a prediction model to estimate October of each year the abundance of woodcocks in France in autumn-winter. However, the number of birds caught (around 150 birds per year) is not enough to accurately assess the age-ratio. This additional study aims to complete the data of age-ratio by information emanating from woodcock sampling in autumn in European Russia. Protocol: Hunters specialized in woodcock hunting in autumn will be asked to transmit data on the plumage of the collected birds. For each bird taken, 2 photos will be taken: one from above and one from the underside of the wing. The photos must be sharp, the wing must be clean and completely open (see photos below).

A digital file will be compiled for each woodcock taken with the place, the date of sampling and the 2 photos. In the long term, it would be desirable to have around fifty hunting correspondents every autumn and thus to have a sample of 200 to 300 woodcocks taken. Analysis: Local and / or a person in France of the B├ęcasse network, will determine the age of each woodcock with as much precision as possible thanks to the examination of the images collected The distinction between adult and young is done without any difficulty. For young people it will be crucial to distinguish young people who have completed post-juvenile moulting ("early brood") and those that have not started or have not completed (Young late brood ").