With the pandemic winding down, date night has returned to America . . . dinner and a movie.
For the Whitakers, last night was dinner . . . then a 90 minute drive . . . followed by a five mile hike, down a scary road, in pitch black, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by mosquitos.
Ingrid is one lucky lady!!!
Last night’s target bird was the Chuck-will’s-widow, a nocturnal bird that is common to the American South . . . but rarely strays north of Cape Cod. A friend had heard one at this location back in mid-May and my date and I were hoping it was still around.
The Chuck-will’s-widow and it’s close relatives, the Eastern Whip-poor-will and Common Nighthawks are Nightjars . . . birds that hunt for insects at night, are rarely seen and known for their emphatic singing. Nightjars are sometimes called Goatsuckers due to a myth, carried over from ancient times, that they drank the blood and milk of goats (Aristotle actually wrote about it).
Anyway, we both got quick sightings of “Chuck” and a couple Common Nighthawks flying over. But this was nocturnal birding and all three “Goatsuckers” were singing loudly.
The Goatsucker Trifecta!!!!
The Chuck-will’s-widow is Maine Big Year Bird # 283 (and a life bird for Ingrid)