EASTERN WHIP-POOR-WILL (Antrostomus vociferus)
DESCRIPTION: The Eastern Whip-poor-will has a mottled brown, grey and black plumage. Bill is short and grey, with large gape. Eyes relatively large and black. Legs and feet grey. Bird length is about 25 cm (10 inches).
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Antrostomus-vociferus – this bird can emit its signature call hundreds of times non-stop at night.
NAME: English name is an onomatopoeia for the bird’s call. Latin genus name ‘Antrostomus’ means ‘cavern’ and ‘mouth’, referring to the bird’s wide gape. Latin species name ‘vociferous’ means ‘loud’.
HABITAT: Moist forests.
DIET: Insects caught on the fly at night (mainly dusk and dawn).
NESTING: No nest is built, nesting location on forest floor amid leaf litter. Two white eggs are laid, incubated by both parents. Chicks fed by both parents.
DISTRIBUTION: Breeds in southern Quebec and Ontario in Canada, also eastern half of USA except the south. Winters in Florida and around Gulf of Mexico.
Distribution Map: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_whip-poor-will#/media/File:Antrostomus_vociferus_map.svg
ON PEI: Does not breed on Prince Edward Island, sightings occasional in spring and summer.
CONSERVATION: Population has sharply declined in part due to pesticide use, thus reducing available prey. Listed as ‘near threatened’ by IUCN.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Common Nighthawk
REFERENCES: https://www.borealbirds.org/bird/whip-poor-will
https://www.mba-aom.ca/jsp/toc.jsp (Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas)
https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/eastern-whip-poor-will (Missouri Department of Conservation)
https://guides.nynhp.org/whip-poor-will/ (New York Natural Heritage Program)
https://txtbba.tamu.edu/species-accounts/whip-poor-will/ (Texas Breeding Bird Atlas)
https://abcbirds.org/bird/eastern-whip-poor-will/ (American Bird Conservancy)
https://birdatlas.mb.ca/speciesatrisk/species/Whippoorwill/species.htm (Manitoba Bird Atlas)

Eastern Whip-poor-will - Magee Marsh, OH - May 2013 - photo by Tom Benson
Eastern Whip-poor-will – Magee Marsh, OH – May 2013 – photo by Tom Benson