Chuck-will's-widowCaprimulgus carolinensis (Gmelin)
Status Six records. Surprisingly, Haliburton's (1825) list includes "Great Bat, or Chuck will's Widow, or Goatsucker" along with "Whip poor Will" and "Night Hawk," but he gives no evidence. Late in October, about 1890, one was found barely alive near Pictou. It died shortly afterward and was given to the museum of Pictou Academy, a first record for Canada (Piers 1894). A bird was shot on 1 June 1905 at Canso, Guysborough County, and mounted (H. Piers); another was found dead at Freeport, Digby County, in early May 1963; on 15 May 1975 a moribund individual was found at Wedgeport, Yarmouth County, by William Boudreau and identified by Israel J. Pothier; all three were sent to the Nova Scotia Museum. On 1 November 1981, one blundered into a mist net set for owls by a bird-banding team from Acadia University and was banded, photographed and released. Finally, a goatsucker flushed repeatedly near Pubnico, Yarmouth County, on 20 May 1984 by R.S. D'Entremont, although not identified at the time, uttered the distinctive grunting calls produced by this species but never by Whip-poor-wills.
Remarks This southern species regularly occurs north of its normal range during migration, but its nocturnal habits may prevent it from being recorded here more often.
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Photo courtesy of Patuxent Wildlife Research Center