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Eastern Whip-poor-will (Caprimulgus vociferus)

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Common Nighthawk, Uncommon Sound

Swooping and diving through the air on its long slender wings, the Common Nighthawk emerges at dusk to chase down aerial insects. Nighthawks have short bills that open wide, so they can vacuum up their insect prey as they fly along. 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

A bird like the Whip-poor-will is a true night bird – feeding, and mating, and nesting in the dark. But for about a week each spring, male Yellow-breasted Chats also sing in the darkness as they call out to the arriving females — their potential mates. 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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