On September 19, on the eve of the full moon, and just days from the autumnal equinox, I headed to Ferry Bluff State Natural Area to see if the whippoorwills were still singing.
I’ve been visiting Ferry Bluff all summer to hear the whippoorwills and I have to say that I’m more than a bit obsessed with them.
At their peak in July, I heard upwards of 10 birds, but there were probably more. It’s hard to distinguish individual birds, especially when the singing comes from across the river. On September 19, I heard just two. Sunset was at 7:00 p.m. and the birds started singing at 7:30 pm. Here’s a short clip of the birds singing. Turn up the volume to heard the birds.
Both of the birds were singing from the bluff side. I didn’t hear any birds singing from across the river, though I did hear two barred owls calling from the Mazomanie bottomlands.
My theory is that once the birds stop singing, they will have left for their winter homes in Mexico and Central America. Since I’ve heard fewer birds at Ferry Bluff since their July peak, I’m assuming that the birds have migrated south. I will visit Ferry Bluff again on October 1 to see if the birds are still singing.
Will they still be there?