The woodcock is a game bird native to Wisconsin, but more than that it is a symbol of the utility of birds beyond their value as hunting targets. During the spring, it performs a mating ritual in the early mornings and late evenings, which Leopold loves to watch. Although Leopold is also an avid hunter, the woodcock brings him so much joy in the spring that he is hesitant to kill as many in the fall. He receives a similar joy from watching its dance as he does from eating its meat, making the woodcock a clear example of the multiple ways that nature can have value to a human beyond its value as a product that is consumed.
The timeline below shows where the symbol Woodcock appears in A Sand County Almanac. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part I: April
Part I: October