Eastern Whip-poor-will

Antrostomus vociferus

Order

CAPRIMULGIFORMES

Family

Goatsuckers (Caprimulgidae)

Code 4

EWPW

Code 6

CAPVOC

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Eastern Whip-poor-will is a medium nightjar native to North and Central America. Preferred breeding habitats include deciduous and mixed woodlands in southeastern Canada, southwestern and eastern United States, and Central America. Northern populations will migrate in winter months to the southeastern 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 Eastern Whip-poor-will is currently Least Concern, though it is at risk for decline due to habitat destruction.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

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


Range and Habitat

Eastern Whip-poor-will: This species breeds in central and eastern North America from central Saskatchewan and Maritime Provinces south to Oklahoma, and northern Mississippi to northern Georgia. Spends winters in Florida and along the Gulf Coast southward to Panama. Prefers open woodlands with well-spaced trees.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"WHIP-poor- WEEA”

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Eastern Whip-poor-will and Mexican 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.
  • The record number of calls in a row by a single bird is 1,088, perhaps accounting for their species name, vociferous.
  • They fly around livestock at dusk to feed on insects swarming over the animals. 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

CERange Map for Eastern Whip-poor-will

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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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