>> Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Growing up on a small farm in East-Central Illinois I often fell asleep in the summertime listening to the call of the whip-poor-will. If you have heard the repeated “whip-poor-will, whip-poor-will” call I’m sure you will never forget it.

When we first moved here to South-Central Kentucky we heard a nighttime call of a bird that some referred to as a whip-poor-will. But, it seemed to have forgotten it’s lines. The call was different. Connie said it sounded to her more like “weird will.” We finally found out that it was a larger cousin of the whip-poor-will called chuck-will’s- widow.

Listen to the difference. First the whip-poor-will. Now the chuck-will’s-widow.

We have heard the “real” whip-poor-will once or twice since we have been here but it doesn’t seem to be a permanent resident. The chuck-will’s-widow is heard almost every night, and sometimes it seems to be right outside our window. Since both are nocturnal we have never actually seen one. Perhaps someday.

whippoorwill01 Obviously since I haven’t seen one these photos were not taken by me, but borrowed from the internet. On the left is a whip-poor-will. It is about 9 3/4 inches long. Chuck-will’s-widow, below, is larger and redder. The chuck-will’s-widow is about 12 inches long.



Anna May 9, 2009 at 5:04 PM  

Those are some very interesting looking birds. The one does sound like it's saying 'weird Will' - weird, huh?

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