Not surprisingly, this photo has nothing to do with today's post except for the fact that this beach is in Mathews and so are whip-poor-wills.
Capable of flinging me instantly to the summer nights of my childhood, the whip-poor-will's call is my absolute favorite, with the red-winged blackbird's song not far behind.
The extent of my knowledge of the whip-poor-will is as follows:
-They're ground-dwelling birds heard primarily in summer;
-They begin their whip-poor-will call at dusk and go well into the night;
-They have lived in the woods across the creek from me since I was a child; of course not the exact same birds, just descendants of those birds, but this explanation really isn't necessary, is it?
To provide some more substantive details, I asked my BFF Wikipedia what she knew about whip-poor-wills, and she told me this:
-Their habitat is deciduous or mixed woods across southeastern Canada, eastern and southwestern United States, and Central America.
-They forage at night, catching insects in flight, and normally sleep during the day.
-They nest on the ground, in shaded locations among dead leaves, and usually lay two eggs at a time. The bird will commonly remain on the nest unless almost stepped upon.
The site goes on to say they are becoming rare in the U.S. possibly due to habitat destruction, predation by
I've never seen a whip-poor-will but hope to hear them for many, many years to come.