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Eastern Whip-poor-will (Caprimulgus vociferus)

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Common Nighthawk, Uncommon Sound

At dusk, the Common Nighthawk chases down aerial insects. Not really a hawk at all, the nighthawk is related to the Whip-poor-will of eastern North America. Originally nesting on open ground along rivers or other gravelly stretches, the Common Nighthawk has adapted to city life in many areas and... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Whip-poor-will

In September, 1851, Henry David Thoreau wrote: "The Whip-poor-wills now begin to sing in earnest about half an hour before sunrise, as if making haste to improve the short time that is left them. As far as my observation goes, they sing for several hours in the early part of the night . . . then... read more »

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Bird Sounds Transport Us Back

Bird calls can transport us to times deep in our memory. Is the sound of the Whip-poor-will at dusk part of your memory? Maybe you heard Common Loons calling on a northern lake. Perhaps you awoke on a summer morning to the cooing of a Mourning Dove. Use the link below to discover how your bird is... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Birds That Say Their Own Names

Some birds, such as the Northern Bobwhite, take their names from their songs or vocalizations: "Bobwhite! Bobwhite!" The Killdeer is another bird named for its song: "Kill-dee, kill-dee, kill-dee." There are others. "Poorwill, poorwill, poorwill" calls this Common Poorwill. This bird is the... read more »

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Night Singers

This Whip-poor-will is a true night bird - feeding, mating, and nesting in the dark. But a few songbirds that are active during the day also sing at night. Most renowned is the Nightingale of Europe and Asia. In North America, for about a week each spring, the Yellow-breasted Chat also sings in... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Night Voices - Nightjars

As darkness descends on a May evening, the voices of many birds go quiet. But for some birds, especially those known as nightjars, the music is just beginning! An Eastern Whip-poor-will shouts out its name. The call of a Common Poorwill echoes across a canyon. A Common Pauraque calls from the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching by ear
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