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Found a bird today (3/4/19) standing in a bare dirt patch under some sparse bushes, next to the wall of an apartment building inside a housing development in Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City.  It was 1:00PM, 36 degrees and sunny out but the area was in the shade from the building. The bird was the size of a smallish pigeon but more compact (neck was not pronounced, or it had its head huddled into the feathers of the body) maybe 6-7 inch long body and with an about 2-1/2" inch long beak.  The feathers were colored in many different shades of browns on top and tans/beiges on bottom, similar in my mind to a female duck.  It was walking around slowly on short (1-1/2 to 2 inch) but slender tan legs and slender long toes (3/4" to 1").  It had dark round eyes with tan areas around the eyes.  Didn't seem to have a pronounced tail, which gave me the impression that it couldn't fly.

It was avoiding approach from about 8 feet away by walking in the opposite direction but didn't try to fly away; maybe it couldn't.  It would occasionally stick the beak an inch or so into the ground and wiggle its head as if trying to pull out something.  While standing still it would occasionally wobble its body side-to-side which seemed strange.  It did not make any calls or noise of any kind.  There weren't any other birds around. 

I'm including a link to the photo I took from about 10 feet away, since it wouldn't let me come closer.  So the quality is not great, but I hope it works for you: 


thanks in advance, Gennadiy Katsman.

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Welcome to the forum!

That is an American Woodcock.  They are rather peculiar-looking birds that walk in a funny way and have pretty spectacular courtship displays.  March is when they begin to show up here in the northeast.  It could have hit a building (which I think is pretty common, sadly), but if it's okay, it will probably move on to find a more suitable habitat.


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Thank you both for your expertise, looking at googled images it was definitely an American Woodcock that I saw.  It's not a bird I've ever seen before, but New York City is certainly not the best habitat for these guys.

As suggested, I looked at some videos of American Woodcocks crossing roads - it really is funny!

thanks again, GK.

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