Record # 2011-68
Possible Eastern Whip-poor-will
Response to Inquiry:
  Solicited by Steve Carr

Hello Steve-

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...


Brian Healy 


Second reply on 9 March 2012:

Hi Steve-

Thanks so much for sending the link to the recordings! I listened to a few different recordings of each species,

and Iím quite certain it was an eastern whip-poor-will. This was very helpful!

Thanks again,