Natural Connections

Eastern whip-poor-wills are extremely well-camouflaged and rarely seen. It’s likely you’ve heard one shouting its name, although maybe not recently as their numbers are declining.

The full moon was last week, and do you know what that means? Well, full moons signify many things to many people, but to whip-poor-wills it means they’d better get busy if they want to give their chicks the best chance at survival. Whip-poor-wills time their egg-laying with the phases of the moon.

I’m typically skeptical of such fanciful claims, but this one has been supported by the research, and by common sense. The brown-speckled birds become active only at dusk and dawn, and use the last and first light of day to spot insects silhouetted against the sky. Then they flutter up from their perch to scoop moths out of midair.

(Copyright © 2021 APG Media)

Recommended for you

Load comments