Help us record Vermont's Whip-poor-wills!

If you stand outside around dusk on a warm evening beginning in May, you might just hear a distinctive call: whip-poor-will, whip-poor-will! A male Eastern Whip-poor-will is somewhere nearby and the Vermont Center for Ecostudies wants to know!

The Eastern Whip-poor-will is listed as a threatened species in Vermont—making monitoring populations incredibly important. Due to their nocturnal habits during non-breeding season, little is known about their migration, however we estimate that they arrive in southern Vermont around May 1st and in northern Vermont by May 10th.

How can you help? All you need to do is go outside about 20 minutes after sunset, listen for the males’ distinctive calls, and record them with your phone. Males will usually start calling about 30 minutes after sunset and continue until it gets too dark to see their prey. You can upload your Whip-poor-will recordings to iNaturalist and share them with the Vermont Atlas of Life.

In their breeding season, Whip-poor-wills favor open areas with sandy soils and pine stands or large powerline cuts, however we lack robust data on where they stop in Vermont. They could be just about anywhere—including downtown Burlington! So, even if you do not have much time during the day, you can go for a walk at sunset. Just make sure to bring your headlamp and phone to record frogs, snipe, owls, and, hopefully, Whip-poor-wills!

Posted on 24 April, 2020 18:13 by emilyanderson2 emilyanderson2


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