This bird is sometimes confused with the related Chuck-will's-widow which has a similar but lower-pitched and slower call.

The Whip-poor-will is classified as Least Concern. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.

The Whip-poor-will or Whippoorwill, Caprimulgus vociferus, is a medium-sized (22–27 cm) nightjar from North and Central America. The Whip-poor-will is commonly heard within its range, but less often seen. It is named onomatopoeically after its call. This bird is sometimes confused with the related Chuck-will's-widow (Caprimulgus carolinensis) which has a similar but lower-pitched and slower call. Adults have mottled plumage: the upperparts are grey, black and brown; the lower parts are grey and black. More

The 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. More

The Whip-poor-will, a nightjar of North and South America, is a night bird but it's still well known within its range because of its distinctive call. The Whip-poor-will, Caprimulgus vociferus, is a migratory night bird of the Americas. It breeds in southern areas of central and eastern Canada, the northeastern United States, southwestern United States, and in Central America. More

Because of its nocturnal habits, the Whip-poor-will is infrequently seen. Its cryptic coloring keeps it hidden during the day, too. However, its loud calling at dusk makes it well known wherever it breeds. More

Whip-poor-wills nest on the ground, in shaded locations among dead leaves, and usually lay two eggs at a time. The bird will commonly remain on the nest unless almost stepped upon. The Whip-poor-will is becoming locally rare. Larry Penny has recorded a 97% decline since 1983 in New York state. Several reasons for the decline are proposed, like habitat destruction, predation by feral cats and dogs, and poisoning by insecticides, but the actual causes remain elusive. More

Whip-poor-will is heard during the spring and early autumn. This species of Night-jar, like its relative the Chuck-will's-widow, is seldom seen during the day, unless when accidentally discovered in a state of repose, when, if startled, it rises and flies off, but only to such a distance as it considers necessary, in order to secure it from the farther intrusion of the disturber of its noon-day slumbers. More

Reproduction: The Whip-poor-will builds no nest but instead lays its eggs on leaf litter on the forest floor. Eggs and chicks are very well camouflaged, and there are nearly always 2 eggs to a clutch. Second broods are very common, and hatching is correlated with the full-moon cycle, enabling parents to adequately provide for their offspring. Chicks are quite mature when hatched, and quickly leave their nest, thus protecting the brooding location from predators. More

A loud, rhythmic whip-poor-will, repeated over and over, at night. HABITAT Dry, open woodlands and canyons. RANGE Breeds from Saskatchewan and Maritime Provinces south to Kansas, northern Louisiana, and northern Georgia, and in Arizona, New Mexico, and western Texas. Winters from Florida and Gulf Coast southward. DISCUSSION The Whip-poor-will is rarely seen because it sleeps by day on the forest floor, its coloration matching the dead leaves. More

Like the owl, the Whip-poor-will is a night hunter. But while an owl hunts primarily by sound, the large-eyed Whip-poor-will finds its prey by sight. Thus, the Whip-poor-will is most active at twilight, dawn, and on moonlit nights. More

OTHER NAMES: nightjar, goatsucker DESCRIPTION: The whip-poor-will is nine inches tall with an approximate eighteen inch wingspan that resemble falcon’s wings in configuration. The bird has a large head and eyes with a tiny beak. The mouth has a large gape and is fringed with inch long bristles to aid in capturing insects while in flight. The plumage is very soft to facilitate noiseless flying. Coloration is usually a mottled mixture of shades of gray and brown with streaks of black. More

The whip-poor-will, named for its distinctive call, is more commonly heard than seen. A crepuscular bird, it is most active at dawn and dusk. During the day it roosts on the low limbs of trees where it is well-camouflaged. Unlike most birds, the whip-poor-will roosts with its body parallel to the branch. A medium sized nightjar, the whip-poor-will measures 8 to 10 inches (22 - 26 cm) in length with a very short bill and long, rounded tail and wings. More

Whip-poor-will Habitat Model go to: USFWS Gulf of Maine Watershed Habitat Analysis go to: Species Table Draft Date: October 2002 Species: Whip-poor-will, Caprimulgus vociferus Use of Study Area Resources: Reproduction. Whip-poor-wills breed from north-central Saskatchewan east across southern Canada to Nova Scotia, south to Georgia west to northeastern Texas; also in the U.S. Southwest, south to Honduras (Brown et al. 1999, Veit and Petersen 1963). More

the Whip-Poor-Will golf course opened in 1959. Golf Management, LLC manages this facility, with Laurie Brooks as the General Manager. More

The 2010 Whip-poor-will season is upon us! These fascinating night birds are heard less and less frequently across the Commonwealth and we need your help to collect information about their numbers. We added several new “listening routes” and many new participants during the 2009 season. But many Massachusetts Whip-poor-will may be undetected, and we want to try to find as many of these as we can in 2010. More

Whip-poor-will are active at night. By day they roost on the ground, where they are easily camouflaged against leaf litter and tree bark. Nesting: The Whip-poor-will builds no nest; the female lays her eggs on the forest floor, on dead leaves. She chooses a location where patches of sunlight filter through the trees that help camouflage her against the dead leaves while she sits on, or incubates, her eggs. The average number of eggs she lays in a year (her brood) is 2 eggs. More

The Whip-poor-will is a woodland resident, roosting and nesting on the ground among dead leaves. This nesting serves as camouflage, rendering them virtually invisible, so perfect is their protective coloration. The male has white tips on its tale which are visible in flight. This bird is strictly nocturnal and anyone who lives near a wooded countryside is familiar with their call which begins at dusk and continues erratically throughout the night. More

The Whip-poor-will eats a variety of flying insects, ranging in size from mosquitoes to large beetles and moths. Although its bill is quite small, it opens into a huge gaping maw when the Whip-poor-will flies after prey. It forages in sustained flight, wheeling and circling, sometimes gliding and even hovering. Whip-poor-wills also make short sallies after flying prey from branches or perches on the ground. Like the owl, the Whip-poor-will is a night hunter. More

Order : Caprimulgiformes
Family : Caprimulgidae
Genus : Caprimulgus
Species : vociferus
Authority : Wilson, 1812