How To Attract Whippoorwills?

How To Attract Whippoorwills

Whippoorwills, ever heard about them? Whippoorwills are the most fascinating nocturnal birds. These birds have haunting calls and their song would make you fall in love too. If you’re a nature enthusiast, bird enthusiast, or simply love the sounds of the wild, attracting Whippoorwills can bring joy and wonder to your outdoor space.

Want to bring these nature’s evening birds to your backyard? In this article, we’ll explore the physical characteristics of whippoorwills as well as their natural habitat, diet, and mating habits. We will also explore proven ways to attract Whippoorwills with detailed explanations.

Proven Ways to Attract Whippoorwills

  • Provide their favorite foods like insects that come out at night
  • Plant flowers with scents for moths
  • Recreate a natural habitat with suitable vegetation and lighting conditions
  • Encourage insect populations through native trees and plants
  • Offer nesting opportunities on the ground
  • Safeguard against predators.

Physical Characteristics and Size of Whippoorwills

Whippoorwills are medium-sized birds measuring around 8–10 inches in length. Their average length is 9–10 inches or 25-27 cm.

Their plumage is gray-brown with intricate patterns that help them camouflage seamlessly into their surroundings during daylight hours.

These birds have short bills but strikingly large mouths. Also, they have a flat head, large eyes.

Females are nearly identical to males except for a stripe on their throat and a paler color with brown for the outermost tail feathers rather than white.

Where Do Whippoorwills Live? Their Natural Habitat

These Whippoorwills birds inhabit various parts of North America, from southern Canada all the way down to Florida and Texas in the United States.

They mostly live in sunlight-shielded areas. As a result, they prefer woodlands, forests with dense undergrowth, open fields near woods, or dry words near fields. They are found in the area where abundant prey like moths and beetles seeking protection from predators.

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What Do Whippoorwills Eat?

One word: INSECTS!

Whippoorwill diets primarily consist of nocturnal insects such as moths, beetles, crickets, flies, ants, wasps, and mosquitos. As expert insect hunters at dusk till dawn, they act as pest control naturally. This does make gardeners happy.

Mating, Nesting, Eggs & Hatchlings Of Whippoorwills

Whippoorwills breed twice a year.  During summer months, may through June when nights grow longer, Whippoorwills enter into their mating season.

Males establish territories within dense woodlands and begin calling out to attract females—a sound that gives them their name! Once a pair is formed, the female selects a nesting site on the ground. Yes you heard it right, Whippoorwills lay eggs on the ground usually beneath trees, bushes, leaf litter or fallen branches near open areas.

Females lay 2 eggs in each clutch which are incubated for about 19 days or three weeks; a role typically shared by both parents.

After hatching, the time for fledging is about 7 days or 2 weeks.

While one parent searches for food, the other guards the nest. When the returning adult returns to the nest, it regurgitates insects to both of the young.

Young whip-poor-wills have been getting food from their parents as early as 30 days of age.

What Are Predators of Whippoorwills?

While they may be excellent at camouflage, whippoorwills still face threats from various predators such as owls, hawks, red foxes, skunks and occasionally raccoons—especially when nesting near the ground.

These birds rely on remaining hidden during daytime hours to avoid being targeted by their natural enemies.

How To Attract Whippoorwills? 7 Proven Ways

Provide the Food Whippoorwills Love

Ensure your yard is teeming with insect life by planting flowers and shrubs that attract moths, beetles, flies, and grasshoppers maintaining an enriching environment.

Also, consider creating birdbaths or small ponds places to drink bathe to cool off the evening heat.

Plants the Flowers That Release Scent

There are many flowers that have strong scents. These scents attract moths, which eventually will bring Whippoorwills to your yard.

Flowers such as

  • Honeysuckle
  • Evening primrose
  • Petunia
  • Regal lily
  • Night phlox

Use native plants as these are more likely to attract local insects.

Create A Suitable Habitat Mimic nature’s environment

Whippoorwills prefer forested areas with clearings nearby where they can hunt at dusk and dawn. You can recreate this ideal habitat by maintaining a mix of dense vegetation and open spaces in your yard.

Whippoorwills eat insects as their diet. And the insects are particularly found in bushes, thick shrubs, and leaf litter. Also, the environment is also predator free and they abundance of food as well. Also, have minimal human disturbance

Make Your Yard Lighted

Bright lights lure the moths. You can use white bulbs, or mercury vapor lights. When the moths come to the yard, so does Whippoorwills.

Consider adding outdoor lighting around your yard, focusing on areas where you have created open spaces and planted insect-attracting flowers. This will not only create an inviting environment but also increase your chances of spotting these nocturnal visitors.

Plant Trees in Your Yard to Attract Insects

Trees not only provide shade but also serve as feeding areas for flying insects—a favorite food choice of Whippoorwills.

Tree species that are native to your area attracts a wide range of insects inviting this beautiful bird right into your backyard. The more diverse the insect population in your yard, the more likely whippoorwills will be drawn to feast on them.

Provide a nesting environment and opportunities

Whippoorwills lay eggs on the ground on leaf litter. You can place bushes, leaf litter, or fallen branches near open areas.

Make Your Yard Whippoorwills Predators Free

To ensure the safety and well-being of these birds, it’s important to create a predator-free environment. Keep domestic pets indoors. Also supervise the dogs, cats, coyotes, and owls.

Install deterrents like bird netting or mesh around potential nest sites to prevent access by predators. By taking these precautions, you’ll be providing a secure space for the whippoorwills to thrive..

With patience and dedication, you too can welcome these mesmerizing songsters into your life—a symphony of nature that will leave you spellbound every time they grace your presence with their magical calls.

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