Anyone that has spent a few nights camping in heavy woods has come to love and hate the whip-poor-will. It’s call (whip-poor-will! whip-poor-will!whip-poor-will!) continues most of the night and, at times, seems to be coming from within your tent or cabin. To add to the mystery/frustration these birds are wonderfully camouflaged and elusive. I’ve never seen one.
They are also an unusual looking bird. Feathers stick out all over. The camouflage is a seemingly random pattern of browns. They have what appears to be a tiny bill and a huge mouth. They also have feathers (feelers) radiating from around the mouth. It’s very difficult to get a sense of what this animal looks like from paintings and field guides.
This was the first bird that I examined. I determined that the feather pattern is complex, but no random. I did figure out the mouth and the wing lay.
Here you go: