Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday Birdblogging

This is one you will hear more than you will see, it's Whip-Poor-Will. Seems like whoever named this bird had an unfortunate turn of mind. Picture from John Cassady, Audubon Society

Cool Facts

* Chicks can move about during the nestling stage, and they often move a bit apart, perhaps to make it difficult for a predator to find them. The parent aids this process by forcibly shoving aside one of the young with its foot as it flushes from the nest. The nestling may be sent tumbling head over heels by the shove.

* The male Whip-poor-will often will investigate intruders near the nest by hovering in place with its body nearly vertical and its tail spread wide to show off the broad white tips of the tail feathers.

* The western populations of the Whip-poor-will differ slightly in plumage from the eastern form, and sometimes are considered a different species (the Mexican Whip-poor-will). Their songs are slower and lower pitched, and their eggs are whiter and less highly colored.

* The Whip-poor-will lays its eggs in phase with the lunar cycle, so that the eggs hatch on average 10 days before a full moon. When the moon is near full the adults can forage the entire night, and so best provide the nestlings with insects.



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