Nature Journal
with Photos

Whip-poor-will Identification Tips
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)
General Information
- Very short bill
- Medium length tail
- Upperparts mottled heavily with gray, black, and
- Underparts pale with gray and black mottling
- Black throat

Adult male
- White patch borders lower margin of black throat
- White tips to the outer tail feathers

Adult female
- Buff patch borders lower margin of throat
- Buff tips to the outer tail feathers

Similar species
Separated from nighthawks by the lack of a pale patch in the wing. Common Poorwill is smaller and its wings extend to the tail at rest. Chuck-will's-widow is significantly larger and longer tailed, is overall a rich brown rather than gray, and has a buff (rather than black) throat. All nightjars are easily identified by their distinctive songs.
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