Eastern Whip-poor-will :About

Discussion in 'Flora & Fauna' started by Wasp, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. Wasp

    Wasp We are GO for Sting! Supporter

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    https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eastern_Whip-poor-will/lifehistory

    As a kid I would visit a large local and very rural lake during summer months. Id spend my days swimming, fishing, building forts, running through the woods, and chasing and catching wildlife. In the evenings it was cool and would sit on the porch and listen to whip-poor-wills and crows calling, echoing off the lake and through the trees. It was so peaceful and even now if I close my eyes I can almost be there again.

    I looked up some information on them and if you look at the link you can read about them. Theres information on habitat, identification, food, breeding, and at the bottom theres a tab for maps and sounds.

    Apparently their numbers have decreased by 75% in the last 60 years which is quite a lot. I hope they/we can do something to improve their numbers because its one of those things, for a lot of us, that made the outdoors so special.
     
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  2. Back50

    Back50 Supporter Supporter

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    We used to have them around here. If we were outside at night being loud and rowdy,one would land in a nearby tree and try to drown us out!They could be really loud. Haven’t heard one in over 20 years.
     
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  3. tashunka witko

    tashunka witko Scout

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    As a kid I would listen to them all the time at night. I haven’t heard one in years now.
     
  4. Crusher0032

    Crusher0032 Appalachian Arthfael Supporter

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    I'm very fortunate to have them in my woods here at home. They often serenade us in the evenings, especially in the summer, taking turns vocalizing with the owls.

    I wasn't aware their numbers had decreased so dramatically, so thanks for bringing this up @Wasp ! I don't want to think about what it would be like to not hear their song in the wild again-that would be very sad indeed.
     
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  5. Wasp

    Wasp We are GO for Sting! Supporter

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    Maybe somewhere theres some tips on something you/we could do to foster their numbers a little?
     
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  6. Crusher0032

    Crusher0032 Appalachian Arthfael Supporter

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    Definitely need to read some more, but apparently I've been doing the exact right things in my small patch of woods more or less on accident for several years. I've done controlled burns for years, and have dropped all the dead or dying trees I can for firewood and forest management. That's left several areas that aren't quite meadows but they are small open areas in the woods, which seems to be the home the whippoorwill needs.

    The other thing is that we have always had a lot of moths/night insects here which feed the whippoorwill. I have a driveway light that brings them in by the hundreds and the bats and birds have a good dinner every night.
     
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  7. Wasp

    Wasp We are GO for Sting! Supporter

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    Yeah one thing in the article that was confusing is they said the birds like places with little to no underbrush, yet it said "fire prevention" (controlled burns) werent good for them. I understand natural is best, but controlled burns get out the underbrush and promote new food growth. Certain locales disagree with that but its known to work.
     
  8. jimmyt

    jimmyt Living large! Supporter

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    They are ground nesters so controlled burns may interfere with the nesting process.
     
  9. Wasp

    Wasp We are GO for Sting! Supporter

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    Point taken. Something to consider. However it may allow for more places to nest as the site suggests they don't prefer areas with underbrush and even sit in/along roads.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  10. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushclass I

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    They are a nightjar. They would sit in the road below my house in the Ozarks and call. I would seem them when I was coming home from evening shift at the mine. One night while not sleeping :rolleyes: because of them, I counted something like 460 ‘whip poor wills’ before the critter stopped and started over. :p
     
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  11. jimmyt

    jimmyt Living large! Supporter

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    Looking at the habitat description it looks like they like an older forest with openings for foraging. I didn’t hear any as a youth in my AO but as my local woodlands have matured and been selectively cut I have head one last year for the first time near my home.
    I would speculate that the controlled burns might help in the long run once the ground is shaded enough that it no longer sprouts and there is nothing to die back from lack of sun creating an “instant” open woods. If that makes any sense.
     
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  12. hillst1

    hillst1 Supporter Supporter

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    I hear them often usually trying to sleep while camping.
     
  13. zelph

    zelph Guide

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  14. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead LB#42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Pretty much non existent in my AO sadly.
    The coyotes ate ‘em all up.
     

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