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Eastern Whip-poor-will - BirdForum Opus

Photo by mjmw
Plum Island,Massachusetts, USA, May 2008
Antrostomus vociferus



  • Upperparts: gray, black and brown
  • Lower parts: gray and black
  • Black throat
  • Bill is very shot


  • White patch below the throat
  • White tipped outer tail feathers

Female: the above details are light brown


Breeds throughout most of the eastern United States and southern Canada. Winters from Mexico south to Cuba and Panama.


This is a monotypic species[1].
Until recently it was considered conspecific with Mexican Whip-poor-will.

It was formerly placed in the genus Caprimulgus.


Deciduous or mixed woodlands.


Nocturnal; sleeping during the day.


They hawk at night, catching insects in flight. The diet includes moths and beetles.


The nest is hidden amongst dead leaves on the ground. The clutch consists of 2 dark spotted cream eggs.

It is believed the eggs are timed to hatch just before a full moon, allowing the adults to hunt with the best opportunity to catch insects.


  1. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. Birdforum thread discussing taxonomy of Nightjars and Frogmouths.
  3. 51st supplement to the AOU checklist of North American birds
  4. Wikipedia
  5. ARKive

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