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Listen to my Whippoorwill

Dog barks at whippoorwill

We've had a whippoorwill hanging around our house since about mid May. It sends out its call just after dusky dark each night and just before dawn every morning like clockwork. The bird seems to start on one side of the house and then make its way to the other side usually ending somewhere very near the front porch.

Ruby Sue does not like the Whippoorwill. As soon as you hear the bird's call you know what's coming next: a fit of barking from a barky little dog. 

I recorded the whippoorwill in the video below in 2012. I wonder if the one hanging around now is a descendant of the first bird. 

Because of various songs and pieces of written word we often associate whippoorwills with being lonesome and sad. I've never found their whistling call lonesome. To me whippoorwills sound like they are calling out with an inquisitive hope that someone will answer them. 


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Your reference to the call of the whippoorwill makes me think of a song from the movie "Thunder Road!" Haven't thought of that in a while!
I love the call - it's a lovely sound of my childhood, too, Ron.

I love hearing the whippoorwill, thank you for sharing!

Oh, thank you, Tipper! I wish we had whippoorwills in New Mexico! And -- if I ever get another dog, her name will be Ruby Sue!!!!!

Such a fast call - our whippoorwills and chuck-wills have a much slower call.
One of the lovely things about working in the gardens in the early morning or as dusk sets in is listening to the bird calls.

I think Mr Whip is just trying to WAKE UP everyone, same as people do. I love all the bird calls and wish I knew which was which. I only know a few and can tell bluebirds from robins etc.
I don't hear the morning sounds often but In the late afternoon they all sure make a joyful noise out here.
Ruby Sue is cute as a button.

Oh, that Ruby Sue!

When we first moved to the area we live now we had an owl and whippoorwill also a covey of quail but the Gordon Terry Parkway came thru and they left.

I heard a whippoorwill's call a couple of days ago at about 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Just one! I waited to see if I could hear it again but I didn't. I heard many other bird calls but no more whippoorwill. As I sat listening to all the birds I noticed something strange. All the sounds seemed to be coming from the same direction. I had to move to see the source. There is was! A mockingbird sitting on the power line making all the calls. Eventually he flew away and the other birds resumed their calls. I guess they had stopped to listen just as I did. Alas, no more whippoorwill calls! At least that day.

Dear Tipper, I love the sound of a Whippoorwill. I don't hear it nearly as often as I'd like. I also love to hear the owls. I often sit on the back porch as darkness falls, and it is so interesting to hear the birds settling down to sleep. I love the sounds of the country and your posts often remind me of the great blessings God has given me by allowing me to live where I do. Simple pleasures are the best and available to most everybody. Also, Ruby Sue is as cute as button!

Tell Cindy to peep out in the area where she is hearing the constant chip or chirp sound...It almost sounds like a constant warning bird sound...that can go on for quite a while, to the annoying point!
What we have here is the puffy cheeked Chipmunk trying to gain control of the area under the feeder to fill those fat cheeks with sunflower seeds...also he is saying "Here I am, girls" see how cute I am with all these seeds in my cheeks as a wedding gift for you...Ha There are more reasona they do their chip/chirp too...but that would be fodder for later...Sometimes the noise ours make, even though it is a chirp/chip, can drive the birds to territorial calls high in the trees away from "Chippy"! ha They can be right rude with their mocking showoff noise!
Thanks Tipper,

Thanks for that beautiful Whippoorwill call, I use to hear 'em calling just around dark. But those blooming coyotes, foxes, and wild cats have about made 'em disappear. That's the same with all the pheasants, almost gone.

One time I was sneaking up on some deer and nearly stepped on a pheasant, I almost had a spasm when that sucker took off. ...Ken

Loved your post today. I wonder if anyone has ever noticed. Years ago it seems that I remember the Whip-poor-will call that would began at dusk was only a lone call whip-poor or whip- followed by a full whip-poor-will...then only a few full calls. Almost if the bird was interrupted or distracted by something. I remember waiting for the next call, actually as I did when I heard my first bird a few weeks back...They as you know are heavy moth feeders and night bug feeders.
I have determined that the bird was just starting to feed and hadn't settled on his perch to give a whip-poor-will musical score until complete darkness.
I read that a whip-poor-will was captured and it was banded four years previously. Making it the longest lived banded whip-poor-will....
So maybe your bird that is calling now could be the same bird that may have lived five years...making your bird older....Just a thought to ponder!
Thanks Tipper,

The whipperwill was a dreaded sound when I was growing up in those lonesome mountains of Eastern Ky. It was so dark and quiet at night, making their call loud and clear and making me so sad I could cry. Those songwriters must have grown up in a lonesome environment as well or they would have never been able to put that much emotion into words.

Several years ago a whippoorwill selected the ridge on the second story of our house as his strutting area. My daughters were young, and enjoyed going out and watching it backlit by the setting sun.

Every evening that spring it would fly up to the ridge and spend 30 to 45 minutes strutting back and forth from one gable to the other calling. Then it would return in the morning just before sun up for about the same period of time. This went on for a few weeks until the birds nested.

We now have more neighbors and less whippoorwills. I'd be willing to trade back!

I haven't heard a whippoorwill around here lately but I would love to hear one. We do have an owl that serenades us though and we love to hear it say, "whoo, whoo, who cooks for you?"
Ruby Sue looks like she is always on guard. We had a Dacshund that was the same way. He would go nuts at the sound of car doors closing, garage door openings and door bells. His perch was on the back of my chair so he could look out of the window constantly scanning the yard for intruders. His arch enemy was the squirrels and he would go ballistic when one was in sight.

I expect it is nesting nearby. I am a bit envious because the call of a whippoorwill is associated with good childhood memories. Like you, I do not consider it sad.

I just checked the range map and the summer breeding range in Georgia appears to be just the mountains. That is just north of me.

I love listening to their call. I do not find it sad either.

I recognize the greenhouse there in your back yard. I'm with Ruby Sue, I don't like noises. As a matter of fact I have a bird chirping outside as I type this....I'd just as soon he went somewhere else! He is not a whippoorwill but some other noisy bird. He's been with me for several days now, just before daybreak and at dark.

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