Biologists Kent McFarland and Sarah Zahendra head out to West Haven, Vermont at dusk to brave a cloud of mosquitos in search of the song of the threatened whip-poor-will. They are on the edge of the Helen W. Buckner Preserve in West Haven.
“We’re in the middle of nowhere and light is falling,” says McFarland. “It’s going to be dark pretty soon, there’s quite a few mosquitoes around my head. Where exactly are we?”
“We are in my favorite place in Vermont and we are about to listen for my favorite Vermont bird, and you know what that is? The Whip-poor-will,” answers Zahendra.
Listen to the show
- About the species
- About the project
- View sightings on the dynamic Vermont eBird map
- Add your sightings to Vermont eBird
- Field Guide
I have only one complaint about the resident whippoorwills on my hill here in Waits River, VT….their insistence at waking us up at 4:00 am! I don’t mind the 9:00 serenades but 4:00 is pushing it. They often sit right on the deck rail a outside our bedroom window..I can see them but if I even move ( to get a camera) ..poof..gone.
ha ha. That would be a bit much! We’d love to have the sighting added to Vermont eBird if you are willing and have not yet. Check it out at http://ebird.org/content/vt/
I went to W. Haven last night…all “conditions” you mentioned as being conducive to hearing a whippoorwill were present, but we did not hear any. I know there’s no guarantee, but am wondering if there is a certain time of the year when it’s MORE likely to hear them… Also, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts as to why we may not have heard any (we were only 2 and were *quiet* 🙂 ).
Hi Mariah, The males generally quiet down around mid July when the breeding season is all done. Also, during breeding season the best nights are those that are moonlit. You might have to wait until next year.
Sorry you didn’t get to hear them, but now you have something to look forward to through the winter!
I haven’t heard my resident whippoorwills for a week or so… Annie Dolan.