Birds of the Western Oak Barrens - Eastern Whip-Poor-Will

After years of listening to the Eastern Whip-Poor-Wills calling through the evening and early hours of the morning, I finally came across a nest site this evening. I was taking a shortcut through a grove of trees, and startled a EWPW from it's nest. What surprised me was how quietly it flew, but also how obvious it made itself at the same time. It was much like the distraction display of the Killdeer I had witnessed only 15mins earlier which acted out it's 'broken wing' charade to get me away from it's territory. I never did spot where the Killdeer's nest was, but in the failing light, what hope do you have really have of spotting their crazily camouflaged eggs?

Unlike the the Killdeer, I did have a good bead on where the Whip-Poor-Will had popped off of it's nest. I made a quick pass by the location and snapped a quick picture of the two distinctively spotted eggs laying on the ground ( https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/118598064 ). To call it a nest in our normal understanding of the word is a bit odd, as there was really nothing more than just that: two eggs sitting on the dirt next to some leaves. It was no different than seeing the ubiquitous wayward golf balls that litter this area - just laying there. I am not sure there was even a feather to indicate that the bird had been there.

It was a special moment for me as I have longed to see one of these nocturnal birds in the day time, and I have wondered whether that occasion would ever arise.

For those who have never had the pleasure of hearing these birds up close, this area offers that opportunity. As early as the last days of April and through to August, this population of Whip-Poor-Wills calls from dusk until the early hours of the morning.

Publicado por saulih saulih, 25 de mayo de 2022

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