SCIENTIFIC NAME: Antrostomus carolinensis


The Chuck-will's-widow is the largest nightjar in North America. A nocturnal bird found in the southeastern United States near swamps, rocky uplands, and pine woods and migrates to the West Indies, Central America, and northwestern South America.

Both sexes measure about 11 - 12.6 inches in length, with a wingspan of 22.8 - 24 inches and weight of 66 - 188 grams. They a huge flat head, short bills and long tails, mottled brownish underparts, buff throat, reddish-brown feathers lined with black, and brown and white patterning on head and chest.
Males have patches of white on their outer tail feathers.
Females have a buffy collar on the throat and lack the white on their tail feathers.
Immatures resemble females and there is no seasonal variation in plumage.

SONG: A loud "Chuck-will's-widow," with the first "chuck" being quiet and inaudible at a distance.

Primarily feeds on insects, particularly those active at night such as moths, beetles, and winged ants. It will also eat small birds and bats, swallowing them whole.

Wooded habitats, including conifer, deciduous, and mixed forests.

Summers in the southeastern quarter of the United States.

Winters in Mexico, Central America, and northern South America, with some over-wintering in Florida.

They do not build nests. They lay their eggs on the ground among dead leaves, pine needles, or bare dirt.
The female lays 1 -4 white to gray eggs with variable dark markings.
She incubates them for 20 - 21 days.


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