Eastern Whip-poor-wills are medium-sized birds with a large, rounded head and a stout chest that tapers to a long tail and wings, giving them a distinctly front-heavy look. They have a complicated colouring of grey and brown which camouflages them with leaf litter or tree bark. The throat is black bordered with a neat white bib. Males have white corners to the tail; on females, these spots are dull buff.

Habitat and Distribution

Eastern Whip-poor-wills are found in eastern forests with open understories. They can be found in both purely deciduous and mixed deciduous-pine forests, often in areas with sandy soil.


At night they rest on the ground or perch horizontally on low trees and fly up to catch moths and other aerial insects.


Eastern whip-poor-wills nest on the ground and the clutch size is 2 eggs.

Calls and Songs

Their song is a loud namesake whip-poor-will song.