eastern whip-poor-will, credit: Laura Gooch CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Threatened Provincially and Nationally


• Medium-sized bird with mottled brown and grey feathers that blend into its surroundings
• Mostly heard rather than seen
• Name derived from its call, which sounds like “whip-poor-will”
• Inhabits mix of open and forested areas, open wetlands or openings in mature, deciduous, coniferous and mixed forests


• In Ontario, breeds as far north as the shore of Lake Superior


• Habitat loss and degradation
• Pesticides
• Climate change


• Provincially protected under Endangered Species Act, 2007
• Federally protected under the Species at Risk Act, 2002 and under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994


The whip-poor-will experienced a population loss of 75 percent in Canada between 1968 and 2007.