Chuck-will’s Widow – Identification

Q: I recorded a bird’s call in Dacula the other day around 9 p.m. I hear it often – sometimes later in the evening.

Do you have any idea what it might be? Do you know any bird experts?

A: I know several bird experts but this bird is easy for me to identify. Can’t you hear him saying his name??

It’s a chuck-will’s widow.

I distinctly remember going to sleep on the front seat of my Dad’s truck when he was loading hay at night and hearing the call of this common bird of the rural South.

John James Audubon referred to the bird as a “Goatsucker”, while other bird experts refer to chuck-will’s widow and his kin, the whip-poor-will, as “nightjars”.

The body of a chuck-will’s widow is about twelve inches long. It is mottled with brown, gray, and black. There is a white collar around its throat.

Enjoy his call and listen for those of other nighttime birds like owls and whip-poor-wills.

Listen to the call of a chuck-will’s widow

Listen to other bird calls at

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