Antrostomus vociferus - (Wilson, 1812)
Eastern Whip-poor-will
Other English Common Names: eastern whip-poor-will
Synonym(s): Caprimulgus vociferus Wilson, 1812
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Caprimulgus vociferus A. Wilson, 1812 (TSN 177961)
French Common Names: engoulevent bois-pourri
Spanish Common Names: Tapacamino Cuerporruín, Tapacamino Cuerporruín-Norteño
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.871696
Element Code: ABNTA07070
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Other Birds
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Caprimulgiformes Caprimulgidae Antrostomus
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). Chesser, R.T., R.C. Banks, F.K. Barker, C. Cicero, J.L. Dunn, A.W. Kratter, I.J. Lovette, P.C. Rasmussen, J.V. Remsen, Jr., J.D. Rising, D.F. Stotz, and K. Winker. 2010. Fifty-first supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union Check-list of North American Birds. The Auk 127(3):726-744.
Concept Reference Code: A10AOU01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Caprimulgus vociferus
Taxonomic Comments: Formerly merged with Caprimulgus, but now treated as a separate genus on the basis of genetic data (Han et al. 2010) (AOU 2012).

Caprimulgus vociferus formerly included C. arizonae, but is now separated on the basis of differences in vocalizations (Hardy et al. 1988, Cink 2002) and mitochondrial and nuclear DNA (Han et al. 2010); the two species also differ in morphology (Phillips et al. 1964, Cink 2002) and egg pigmentation (Phillips et al. 1964) (AOU 2010).

Considered conspecific with C. noctitherus of Puerto Rico by some authors (AOU 1983) and constitutes a superspecies with it (AOU 1998).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 06Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 02Dec1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Still relatively common overall, although rare in certain parts of its range.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5B,NNRN (05Jan1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N4B,N3M (28Aug2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S5B,S3N), Arkansas (S4B), California (SNA), Connecticut (S3B), Delaware (S4B), District of Columbia (S3N), Florida (S4N), Georgia (S4S5), Illinois (S5), Indiana (S4B), Iowa (S5B), Kansas (S3B), Kentucky (S5B), Louisiana (SNA), Maine (S3B), Maryland (S3S4B), Massachusetts (S2S3B,S3N), Michigan (S3), Minnesota (SNRB), Mississippi (S2?B), Missouri (SNRB), Nebraska (S3), New Hampshire (S3B), New Jersey (S3B), New York (S3B), North Carolina (S4B), North Dakota (SU), Ohio (S5), Oklahoma (S2B), Pennsylvania (S4B), Rhode Island (S4B), South Carolina (S4B), South Dakota (S2B), Tennessee (S3S4), Texas (S4B), Vermont (S2B), Virginia (S5), West Virginia (S3B), Wisconsin (S2B)
Canada Manitoba (S3B), New Brunswick (S2B,S2M), Ontario (S4B), Quebec (S3), Saskatchewan (S3B)

Other Statuses

Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA) Schedule 1/Annexe 1 Status: T (04Feb2011)
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Threatened (26Apr2009)
Comments on COSEWIC: Reason for designation: In Canada, this well-known, nocturnal bird has experienced both long-term and short-term population declines.Indices of abundance indicate that populations have been reduced by more than 30% over the last 10 years (i.e. 3 generations). Like other aerial foraging insectivores, habitat loss and degradation as well as changes to the insect prey base may have affected Canadian populations.

Status history: Designated Threatened in April 2009.

IUCN Red List Category: NT - Near threatened

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: BREEDING: south-central Saskatchewan east across southern Canada to Nova Scotia, south (east of Great Plains) to extreme northeastern Texas, Arkansas, northern Mississippi, north-central Alabama, South Carolina, east-central North Carolina, and Virginia (AOU 1998). NON-BREEDING: from northeastern Mexico, southern Texas, Gulf Coast, and east-central South Carolina south to Costa Rica, casually to southern California, western Panama, and Cuba (AOU 2010).

Area of Occupancy: Unknown 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Based on Birdlife International (2014) statistics

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations)., with Partners in Flight (2013) estimating a global population of 2 million.

Population Size: >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: The global population size for this species (Easter Whip-poor-will) is estimated to be 2 million by Partners in Flight (2013). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). (Birdlife International, 2014).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Many to very many (41 to >125)
Viability/Integrity Comments: With an estimated global population of 2 million, there should be at least 125 good element occurrences.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Declines have been reported from several areas; may be related to habitat fragmentation and loss and perhaps to increased nest predation (Ehrlich et al. 1992). PESTICIDES: Gypsy Moth infestations in many parts of the northeastern U.S. have prompted the use of pesticides (Bt and Dimilin) on large portions of oak forest. Bt has been reported to be toxic to more than 40 species of lepidopterans, resulting in possible restricted foraging opportunities for nightjars, especially as the gypsy moth advances into the southeastern U.S. DEVELOPMENT: Typically fly low to the ground and forage in and along roads. Paving rural roads increases driving speeds and thereby increases the potential for auto strikes (T. O'Connell, pers. comm.). Development (especially "summer homes") along steep-sided mountain slopes will likely have a detrimental effect through loss of habitat. Restoration of healthy mountain riparian areas where steep sides occur certainly cannot hurt this species (C. Rustay, pers. comm.). GRAZING: Grazing could have a detrimental effect on this and other ground nesting species, as trampling and possible reduction of insect prey densities could occur, but no data is currently available to document this. Habitat loss is one of the main threats to the eastern whip-poor-will, largely due to the conversion of land for agriculture. Natural succession and changes in forest management practices have also led to a reduction in forest and woodland clearings [Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources - Eastern whip-poor-will (Caprimulgus vociferus) (February, 2012) http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/stdprodconsume/groups/lr/@mnr/@species/documents/document/276687.pdf], while increasing urbanisation and development have reduced the amount of suitable breeding and feeding habitat for this bird [Cink, C.L. (2002) Eastern whip-poor-will (Caprimulgus vociferus). In: Poole, A. (Ed.) The Birds of North America Online. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca. Available at: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/620]

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-50%
Short-term Trend Comments: North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) shows a survey-wide decline of -2.8% per year (P = 0.00, N = 473) from 1966-2012 (Sauer et al. 2014). BBS, however, may not be an accurate indicator of population trend for this species.

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%
Long-term Trend Comments: This species has undergone a small or statistically insignificant decrease over the last 40 years in North America (data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007) (Birdlife International, 2014). Population trends derived from BBS data are equivocal. The population as a whole showed a slight increase of 0.6% between 1966 and 1978 (Robbins et al. 1989). This was followed by a slight decrease of 0.8% between 1978 and 1987 (neither statistically sig-nificant). Certain states and provinces, however, show significant decreases over the period 1966?1994, including Illinois (16.1%), Pennsylvania (12.4%), Tennessee (5.8%), and Ontario (5.8%). Georgia showed an increase of 9.1% during same period (though not a significant one). Although these census techniques are not sensitive for Whip-poor-wills, such large changes warrant concern and suggest that these populations be the subject of more fine-tuned censuses (Cink, 2002).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable to not intrinsically vulnerable.
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Ground-nesting habits make this bird somewhat vulnerable.

Environmental Specificity: Moderate to broad.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Found in wide variety of forest habitats except missing from areas of dense uninterrupted forests (Cink, 2002).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Certain states and provinces show significant decreases over the period 1966?1994, including Illinois (16.1%), Pennsylvania (12.4%), Tennessee (5.8%), and Ontario (5.8%). Georgia showed an increase of 9.1% during same period (though not a significant one). Although these census techniques are not sensitive for Whip-poor-wills, such large changes warrant concern and suggest that these populations be the subject of more fine-tuned censuses (Cink, 2002).

Protection Needs: Protect nests from disturbance, otherwise main protection need is maintenance of suitable habitat for this species (Cink, 2002).

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDING: south-central Saskatchewan east across southern Canada to Nova Scotia, south (east of Great Plains) to extreme northeastern Texas, Arkansas, northern Mississippi, north-central Alabama, South Carolina, east-central North Carolina, and Virginia (AOU 1998). NON-BREEDING: from northeastern Mexico, southern Texas, Gulf Coast, and east-central South Carolina south to Costa Rica, casually to southern California, western Panama, and Cuba (AOU 2010).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, CA, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV
Canada MB, NB, ON, QC, SK

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
IN Brown (18013), Martin (18101)
MI Newaygo (26123), Oceana (26127)
ND Cass (38017)*, Grand Forks (38035), Pembina (38067)*, Walsh (38099)*
NE Boyd (31015), Brown (31017), Cherry (31031), Keya Paha (31103), Knox (31107), Nemaha (31127), Richardson (31147), Sarpy (31153)
NJ Atlantic (34001), Burlington (34005), Camden (34007), Cape May (34009), Cumberland (34011), Ocean (34029), Passaic (34031), Sussex (34037)
NY Jefferson (36045), Lewis (36049), Orange (36071), St. Lawrence (36089), Ulster (36111)
PA Centre (42027)
SD Clay (46027)*, Lincoln (46083), Minnehaha (46099)*, Yankton (46135)*
VT Addison (50001), Caledonia (50005), Essex (50009), Franklin (50011), Orange (50017), Rutland (50021), Windham (50025), Windsor (50027)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Waits (01080103)+, Upper Connecticut-Mascoma (01080104)+, White (01080105)+, Black-Ottauquechee (01080106)+, West (01080107)+, Middle Connecticut (01080201)+
02 Rondout (02020007)+, Hackensack-Passaic (02030103)+, Middle Delaware-Musconetcong (02040105)+, Crosswicks-Neshaminy (02040201)+, Lower Delaware (02040202)+, Cohansey-Maurice (02040206)+, Mullica-Toms (02040301)+, Great Egg Harbor (02040302)+, Upper West Branch Susquehanna (02050201)+
04 Lower Grand (04050006)+, Pere Marquette-White (04060101)+, Muskegon (04060102)+, Black (04150101)+, Oswegatchie (04150302)+, Indian (04150303)+, Mettawee River (04150401)+, Otter Creek (04150402)+, Missiquoi River (04150407)+, Lake Champlain (04150408)+, St. Francois River (04150500)+
05 Lower White (05120202)+, Lower East Fork White (05120208)+
09 Upper Red (09020104)+*, Goose (09020109)+*, Lower Sheyenne (09020204)+*, Turtle (09020307)+, Park (09020310)+*, Lower Red (09020311)+*, Lower Pembina River (09020316)+*
10 Ponca (10150001)+, Middle Niobrara (10150004)+, Keya Paha (10150006)+, Lower Niobrara (10150007)+, Lewis and Clark Lake (10170101)+, Lower Big Sioux (10170203)+, Lower Platte (10200202)+, Tarkio-Wolf (10240005)+, South Fork Big Nemaha (10240007)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A crepuscular bird, a nightjar.
Reproduction Comments: Eggs laid mostly May-June in north. Clutch size two. Incubation 17-20 days, by female (male possibly helps). Hatching often occurs during early stages of a waxing moon. Young tended mainly by female, male brings food. Young first fly at about 20 days.
Ecology Comments: Little information on home range or territory size. Density of breeding pairs per 40 ha: 5.8 in a pitch pine-oak forest in New Jersey (Slack and Root 1980); 2.6 on a pine plantation in Indiana (Webster 1980); and 2 in a strip mine and deciduous woodlot in Tennessee (Nicholson 1980).
Habitat Type: Terrestrial
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Breeding populations in U.S. move south for winter.
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Conifer, Forest - Hardwood, Forest - Mixed, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Habitat Comments: BREEDING: Forest and open woodland, from lowland moist and deciduous forest to montane forest and pine-oak association (AOU 1983). In open woodlands with well spaced trees and a low canopy. Uncommon in mature forest; prefers even-aged successional habitats from regeneration to pole-stage stands (Bushman and Therres 1988). Rests on ground or on branch, in thicket at forest edge, in hedgerow or gallery forest (Stiles and Skutch 1989). Lays eggs on ground in open site under trees or under bush, usually on a bed of dead leaves (Harrison 1978) at woods edge or in open woodland. Breeds primarily in montane habitats in tropics (AOU 1983).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Eats moths and other insects caught in flight usually near ground (Terres 1980). Makes short flights from perch or ground.
Adult Phenology: Crepuscular, Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Crepuscular, Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: Most active during twilight and bright moonlight (Mills 1986). Strictly nocturnal (Stiles and Skutch 1989).
Length: 25 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Breeds in open coniferous and mixed woodlands in much of the eastern U.S. and montane woodlands in the southwest. Western population believed by some to be separate species but no studies currently available. In New Mexico, closely associated with hillsides in mid-elevation forests from 1828-2438 meters which roughly corresponds to the range of Ponderosa Pine (Chihuahua Pine in the very southwestern portion of the state). Possibly expanding it's range. Often found in riparian uplands, but this may not be a requirement for nesting habitat. BBS shows declines in Illinois and southern New England. Threats include breeding and winter habitat loss, possible pesticide exposure, but no data is available to verify this. Need more research on habitat use and requirements, status, and nesting success.
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Breeding habitat should include medium growth woodlands of many types, usually in uplands and not far from open country, primarily deciduous and mixed forest. (Hamel 1992). May need a relatively dense oak understory for nesting perhaps intermixed with more open habitat for foraging (C. Rustay, pers. comm.). More research is needed before an accurate preserve design can be established
Management Requirements: In the west, allowing fires to burn in the lower mixed conifer zone and in Ponderosa Pine (PINUS PONDEROSA) habitat should be beneficial by opening up the understory and promoting oak growth. Burns should be undertaken in non-breeding season. Fuels should not build up to the point of allowing a catastrophic fire. It has been estimated that fire normally burned every 7-10 years on average in ponderosa pine forest. Burning every 12-15 years might be slightly more beneficial to this species (C. Rustay, pers. comm.). More research is needed.
Monitoring Requirements: BBS, Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS), and other standardized monitoring programs generally not effective, focused nightbird surveys should be implemented.
Biological Research Needs: Much remains to be learned about the biology and ecology of this little-studied species, particularly how eastern and western populations differ. Little is known about dispersal of juveniles from their natal areas. While spring arrival dates are heralded by distinctive calling, fall departure and passage are largely silent, with few records. Migration is poorly understood, with scant knowledge of routes taken, physiology, and habitats used; wintering areas for different breeding populations are poorly known. How do individuals from eastern populations interact with other nightjars on their wintering grounds? There is no information on food selection, nutrition and energetics, or common parasites and diseases. The vocal repertoire of this often-heard species remains little studied, and most of the descriptions of its visual displays are fragmentary and their functions unknown. There are few estimates of population size or status in the U.S. and none for Mexico. Better knowledge of how populations are being influenced by human activity is essential (Cink, 2002).
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Nightjars

Use Class: Breeding
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding, or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: No information on home ranges; separation distance arbitrarily set. Male Common Poorwills apparently set up territories up to 0.5 kilometers across early in the breeding season (Kalcounis et al. 1992). Buff-collared Nightjar territories reported to be 100 to 150 meters long (Bowers and Dunning 1997). Whip-poor-will: density estimates only: 0.5-1.5 pairs per 10 ha (Slack and Root 1980, Webster 1980, Nicholson 1980).
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .15 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: No information on breeding home range. Based conservatively on male Buff-collared Nightjar territories and reported Whip-poor-will densities (see Separation Justification).
Date: 14Nov2001
Author: Cannings, S.
Notes: Includes species of the genera PHALAENOPTILUS, CAPRIMULGUS, and NYCTIDROMUS.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 26Feb2014
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Jue, Sally S.
Management Information Edition Date: 03Dec1999
Management Information Edition Author: BROWN, B.; REVISIONS BY M. KOENEN AND D.W. MEHLMAN
Management Information Acknowledgments: The author thanks T. O'Connell and C. Rustay for providing useful information for the preparation of this abstract. Support for the preparation of this abstract was provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Initiative, through challenge grant number 97-270 to The Nature Conservancy, Wings of the Americas Program. Matching funds for this grant were donated by Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 17Mar1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): HAMMERSON, G., MINOR REVISIONS BY S. CANNINGS

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Cink, Calvin L. 2002. Eastern Whip-poor-will (Antrostomus vociferus), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu.bnaproxy.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/620

    doi:10.2173/bna.620


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