Tuesday, 7 December 2010


Caprimulgus vociferus

Photo by Michael Drummond (Albany Pine Bush News)

Common name:
whip-poor-will (en); noitibó-cantor (pt); engoulevent bois-pourri (fr); chotacabras cuerporruín (es); schwarzkehl-nachtschwalbe (de)

Order Caprimulgiformes
Family Caprimulgidae

The birds are found in south-eastern Canada and in the eastern half of the United States. They can also be found in the southwest of the United States, in California, Nevada and Texas, and some birds migrate south to Central America from Mexico all the way down to Panama.

This medium-sized nightjar is 22-26 cm long. They have a wingspan of 45-48 cm and can weigh up to 64 g.

The habitat of the whip-poor-will includes open country for foraging and woodland for nesting. They are mostly found in tropical lowland evergreen forests, in pine forests and in pine-oak forests, up to an altitude of 3.200 m.

These nocturnal birds hunt for insects in flight, mostly eating moths.

The whip-poor-will nests on the ground, among the leaf litter. The female lays 2 cream-coloured eggs with darker spots. The eggs are incubated for 19-20 days and the chicks fledge after 20 days.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
The species has a very wide breeding range and a population of 2 million. Although they may be declining in some areas, the species is not considered threatened at present.

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