Woodcocks are primarily nocturnal, but can still be active at dawn and dusk. They are seldom seen during the day, unless flushed. They probe the ground with their long bills, looking for earthworms. The ends of their bills have a mass of nerve endings that the birds use to sense worms as they probe. They typically roost very close to their feeding grounds, which was to their detriment when they were heavily hunted for food. Hunters would watch the birds as they travelled between their roost and feeding grounds, then set up nets to intercept them.