Record # 2011-68
Thanks for considering this sighting, and for the questions. I've reviewed the panel's questions, and I can respond to them fairly easily. In response to the questions of the reviewers, I reported the sighting as an "Eastern/Mexican" originally in eBird, because I was unfamiliar with the voice of the Mexican whip-poor-will, and knew that I was outside the normal range of both species, and therefore, I checked the option for Eastern/Mexican. When I was encouraged by the eBird reviewer to submit the sighting to Utah, I followed the same logic for the report. However, I am quite familiar with the Eastern whip-poor-wills call, and when I heard it in the field near the Green River, it seemed to be unmistakably the call of the Eastern species. I assisted on the initial stages of a graduate student's research on the whip-poor-will in Northern Wisconsin when I was a biology undergraduate, and that work required the use of broadcast recordings of the bird's voice at night to locate individuals (call playbacks). Although it had been a few years, when you've heard the recorded call over and over in this manner, it tends to stick in your head. I could try to find a recorded call of the Mexican species, but unfortunately I don't have a copy of that recording to compare with what I heard. If, like one of the reviewers state, the calls are quite distinctive between the two, I would definitely defer to the Eastern whip-poor-will for this occurrence.
Thanks for the diligence in reviewing these records. It makes the data so much more valuable, and I hope this additional information helps confirm the sighting for Utah...
Second reply on 9 March 2012: