The rich, throaty chant of the Chuck-will's-widow, singing its name, echoes through southern woodlands on summer nights. Only then will you be able to decide what crazy name you can give them yourself. What's more interesting to me is that of all the birds named for their songs, why did these birds get such detailed, evocative mnemonics? Chuck-will’s-widow is best separated by call (see below), but also by its noticeably larger Is poor Will the same man as Chuck Will? The chuck-will’s-widow lives throughout the southern quarter of the nation, including here. . Chuck-will's-widow crown profile is flat, rounded in Eastern Whip-poor-will ; Feather tips are rounded in Whip, pointed in Chuck; Extent of bill projection is an ID point of questionable merit; With the benefit of seeing the Eastern Whip-poor-will a few days earlier in 2007, the Chuck-will's-widow is a notably chunkier bird - albeit only 20% larger in length the Chuck has a much heftier look about it. Legal Notices Privacy Policy Contact Us. I’ll leave aside the debate about whether they actually sound like they’re saying “whip poor Will” and “Chuck Will’s widow.” My take is that the Chuck-will’s-widow can sorta get away with it. The names are themselves little fragments of unfinished stories. Is his widow lamenting his demise after the whipping? According to Pliny the Elder (another cool name), in A.D. 77, the wisdom of the time was that these strange birds snuck into goat pens at night and sucked milk from their udders, causing the goats to go blind. Whip-poor-wills love moist, leafy forests, whereas Chuck-will's widows prefer oaks, pines, and swampy edges. Just look at them. Soon, these birds may be impossible to see. The subject of a classic Hank Williams song, the Whip-Poor-Will starts getting vocal as early as March here in Alabama. This is the largest nightjar in North America, but their dappled brown plumage makes them blend in perfectly to dry woodlands of the Southeast. Warm brown tones with intricately patterned feathers make them extremely well-camouflaged. It has a distinctive and persistent call - sounding much like its name. A friend of mine down in Wilcox county, Big Daddy Lawler posted a quick audio-video of the difference in the two birds calls, non birders are often confused: // .

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