Mexican Whip-poor-will: Medium-sized nightjar with brown-gray-black mottled upperparts and pale gray-brown underparts. Throat is black; eyebrows and neckband are white. Tail is long and rounded with white corner patches. Until recently, this bird and the Eastern Whip-poor-will were combined as the Whip-poor-will.
Range and Habitat
Mexican Whip-poor-will: Breeds in mixed and coniferous forests of the mountains of Mexico and the Southwestern United States. Winters from Mexico south to Panama and Cuba.
The Mexican Whip-poor-will and Eastern Whip-poor-will were previously combined as one species, the Whip-poor-will.
Recent DNA sequencing, along with different ranges, egg colors, and vocalizations, enabled the split.
Eggs are laid so they hatch about 10 days before a full moon. This allows the adults to forage the entire night, and so best provide the nestlings with insects.
It was once believed that they sucked milk from goats' udders and caused them to dry up; hence their family name, Caprimulgidae, from the Latin capri and mulgus, meaning "goat-milker."
A group of whip-poor-wills are collectively known as an "invisibility" and a "seek" of whip-poor-wills.
The Mexican Whip-poor-will is a medium nightjar native to North and Central America. Preferred breeding habitats include coniferous and mixed woodlands in southwestern United States and Central America. This bird forages for food at night, and diets include insects caught in-flight. Nests are built on the ground under low trees and shrubs, and are very well camouflaged. The conservation rating for the Mexican Whip-poor-will is currently Least Concern, though it is at risk for decline due to habitat destruction.