Mexican Whip-poor-will

Antrostomus arizonae

Order

CAPRIMULGIFORMES

Family

Goatsuckers (Caprimulgidae)

Code 4

MWPW

Code 6

CAPARI

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Mexican Whip-poor-will is a medium nightjar native to North and Central America. Preferred breeding habitats include coniferous and mixed woodlands in southwestern United States and Central America. This bird forages for food at night, and diets include insects caught in-flight. Nests are built on the ground under low trees and shrubs, and are very well camouflaged. The conservation rating for the Mexican Whip-poor-will is currently Least Concern, though it is at risk for decline due to habitat destruction.

SUMMARY

Overview

Mexican Whip-poor-will: Medium-sized nightjar with brown-gray-black mottled upperparts and pale gray-brown underparts. Throat is black; eyebrows and neckband are white. Tail is long and rounded with white corner patches. Until recently, this bird and the Eastern Whip-poor-will were combined as the Whip-poor-will.

 

Range and Habitat

Mexican Whip-poor-will: Native of southwestern United States and Mexico. Breeds in mixed and coniferous forests of the mountains of Mexico and the Southwestern United States. This species is migratory in northern portions of its range, including the breeding population of the United States. Winters from Mexico south to Panama.

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Mexican Whip-poor-will SONGS AND CALLS

Mexican Whip-poor-will A1

Repeated "whip" calls.

Mexican Whip-poor-will A2

Distinctive call is a repeated, whistled "whip-poor-will".

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"Whip-poor-WEEA"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Mexican Whip-poor-will and Eastern Whip-poor-will were previously combined as one species, the Whip-poor-will. Recent DNA sequencing, along with different ranges, egg colors, and vocalizations, enabled the split.
  • Eggs are laid so they hatch about 10 days before a full moon. This allows the adults to forage the entire night, and so best provide the nestlings with insects.
  • It was once believed that they sucked milk from goats' udders and caused them to dry up; hence their family name, Caprimulgidae, from the Latin capri and mulgus, meaning "goat-milker."
  • A group of whip-poor-wills are collectively known as an "invisibility" and a "seek" of whip-poor-wills.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
GapeX
Also called commissure, it is the hinge where the mandibles meet.
Rictal bristlesX
The short and stiff feathers near the bill.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X