Thinking back on a few of the old classic country songs, I wonder if the writers of those great songs had an inkling of what was inspiring them in the first place. The Whip-poor-will was a great inspiration for many of writers, but was it really a Whip-poor-will, or maybe a Chuck-wills-widow. One needs to be able to differentiate the subtle difference of the two.
These two birds are members of the Goatsucker family. A long time ago, farmers would see these birds hanging around herds of goats and naturally came under the assumption that the birds were drinking the milk from the Nannies. To be honest, they would let the goats stir up the insects and then find an easy meal.
The Whip-poor-will actually sings it’s name in a constant fashion, quickly and one right after the other, while the Chuck-wills-widow most always starts the song off with a whistled “Chuck” then the rest of his name. Sometimes the first part will be so low in volume that it doesn’t really register to our ears. Also the birds are so similar in looks it would be hard for beginners to tell the difference.
I was at the Farmers Market Saturday in-between rain showers visiting some of my favorite farmers to see what was in season. Linda Walker was running Haskells Evan’s vegetable stand when I was approached by this nice lady, asking me if I was the “birdman?” Gayle Ellis who has Woodland Shadow Farms told me that she has been a reader of Our Feathered Friends for quite some time. It’s really nice when someone comes up to you and tells you that they are a reader.
I would love to hear from you as to what’s lurking about in your neighborhood and at your feeders. You can write me at 606 Fairview Ave., Lebanon, 37087 or call me at 547-7371 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org