(Antrostomus vociferous, or Caprimulgus vociferus)
Status in Canada: Threatened
Status in Ontario: Threatened
Status at SWCR: Common breeding bird
It is hard to spot this medium-sized songbird because it nests on the ground and has excellent camouflage.
- It eats nocturnal insects and is most active at dusk and dawn.
- It breeds at both the Nursery and Turkey point tracts at the SWCR.
- The breeding populations at the SWCR are among the last remaining strongholds for this species in southwestern Ontario.
- Ground nests are very hard to spot, and are often near trails or open areas such as fields or wetlands.
Threats at the St. Williams Conservation Reserve:
Road Mortality: these birds often rest on the ground near roads and trails, and they can be hit by vehicles, especially at night.
Habitat Loss/degradation: related to natural succession and fire suppression.
Activities that can increase road mortality or damage critical Eastern Whip-poor-will habitat include:
- Unauthorized road and trail use, or off-trail ATV use, that can kill whip-poor-wills nesting on the ground in open areas, along trails, and by roads.
- Activities that can introduce or encourage the growth of invasive plants, such as dumping of garden waste and off-trail ATV use.
- Activities that interfere with understory shrubs, unauthorized plant collecting and off-trail ATV use.
St. Williams Conservation Reserve management practices:
- Population monitoring
- Forest thinning activities
- Invasive plant control
- Enforcement of unauthorized trail use
- Prescribed burns
What you can do to help:
- Follow the code of conduct for recreational activities in the Conservation Reserve and know and respect the current trail-use regulations.
- Report sightings to the SWCR CC, Bird Studies Canada (www.ebird.ca or 1-888-448-2473), or the Natural Heritage Information Centre.
- Report unauthorized trail use or any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).