Chuck Will’s Widow

Do you know Chuck Will’s Widow, no it isn’t a woman that Chuck left behind. Nope it is a BIRD.

If you haven’t seen a Chuck Will’s Widow I bet you have heard it on a late spring evening. You might have heard it for a few minutes or all night long. The bird is named for its song which goes “chk Will’s Widow”, over and over, sometimes into the wee hours of the morning. It is a bird that usually nest on the ground but builds no nest. The eggs are laid on bare ground and are not protected from predators. It is a miracle that any survive but the bird is fairly common if rarely seen. You find it in open dry coniferous or deciduos forest but finding this bird isn’t so easy. It flies at night eating large amounts of insects. They have very large and wide mouths. This is beneficial when hunting at night. The birds are nocturnal and sleep during the day, mostly on the ground. Their protective coloring makes it very hard to see, even  while sleeping in broad open daylight.
A friend called me to his house several years ago to see a nesting Chuck-Will’s Widow. The eggs were bare and the female was sitting near them. Several night’s later an opposum got the eggs.
This isn’t a bird that will come to your feeder but it, like many more birds, are extremely interesting. A
wonderful way to introduce kids to science is get them interested in birding. It isn’t expensive and it is a hobby they can enjoy for life.

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We at Wild Birds Unlimited on Forest Drive are more than happy to answer any questio ns you might have. Give us a call at 782-5700. We are there 10:00 am until 6:00 pm Monday through Saturday