My Bird Blog: A blog about my birding discoveries, bird feeders, birds on my life lists, and all things bird related

Sue's Bird Blog Archives

Eastern Whip-poor-will

Published May 02, 2014
Tags: Life List Happenings, Eastern Whip-poor-will, Black-and-white Warbler, Palm Warbler, Blue-headed Vireo

As I was heading out to grab the only couple of hours I had to bird today, the news of an Eastern Whip-poor-will quickly changed my course of direction. At a private residence in Burt, New York, sat one of the oddest looking birds I've ever seen. Well-camouflaged, the nightjar sat horizontally along a low limb on a bush - only about 4 feet up from the ground.  Its eyes were closed and it appeared to be sleeping.

I didn't get to see this bird fly nor hear it call but I read that, when it does vocalize, it says its name.  At home later, I played the sound on my phone app and it was rather cool to hear the high-pitched short syllables - "whip-poor-WILL".

Whip-poor-wills are nocturnal, sleeping by day and catching insects by night. The stiff bristle-like feathers around their beaks assist in detecting the insects in their erratic flights of wheeling, circling, gliding, and hovering.

A little birding around the yard also yielded a Blue-headed Vireo, Yellow-rumped, Black-and-white, Palm, and Pine Warblers, 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks, and some assorted waterfowl in the way back on the lake.
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Eastern Whip-poor-will
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Eastern Whip-poor-will
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Blue-headed Vireo
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Blue-headed Vireo
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Palm Warbler
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Palm Warbler
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Black-and-White Warbler
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Black-and-White Warbler
Reply from: Lynn on 5/3/2014 11:21 AM
 What an unusual bird! And how nice the owner allowed you access to their property to see it. Sounds like a successful trip.
Reply from: Lynn on 5/3/2014 11:21 AM
 What an unusual bird! And how nice the owner allowed you access to their property to see it. Sounds like a successful trip.
Reply from: tim on 5/3/2014 12:30 PM
 Wow! Not exactly what I call a beautiful bird,but you sure did a beautiful job photographing it.Also great job on the warblers and BH Vireo.
Reply from: Sue on 5/4/2014 10:28 AM
 Thank you, Tim and Lynn. And right about the whip-poor-will - very unusual looking bird, indeed. Totally designed for camouflage, I think... Unfortunately, that Blue-headed Vireo was a little high - almost out of reach, but at least we can see who he is!