General description.

The Whip-poor-will is a small bird more easily identified by its call than its appearance. Nearly impossible to see, the Whip-poor-will is most active at night and blends in with foliage on the ground. This bird eats flying insects. At night, they fly close to the ground and catch the insects in the air. The eye of the Whip-poor-will reflect light at night. During breeding season, this bird is monogamous and a pair nests on the ground, but rarely builds an actual nest. A pair raises 1-2 broods per year. This bird is uncommon and has declined in the East recently due to habitat loss. This species is federally protected.

Flight pattern.

Erratic darting.

Breeding habits.


Calls or song.


Population and distribution.


Nesting habits.

The Whip-poor-will nest in the ground and lays 2 whitish eggs in May.
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