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WV Seeking Reports On Whip-poor-will Sightings

Reported: May. 17, 2014 4:28 PM EDT
Updated: May. 17, 2014 7:00 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP, Heath Harrison) -- West Virginia state biologists are asking residents to listen for the call of the whip-poor-will.

The Division of Natural Resources is fearful the bird with the distinctive call is on the decline. That's why they're asking residents to report any sightings of the bird through July 31.

West Virginia Public Radio reported that officials hope the sightings will give them a better sense of the bird's presence in the state.

Whip-poor-wills are gray, brown and black. The camouflage makes them hard to see in the wild. The bird's song has long been associated with Appalachia.

The reason for the decline of eastern whip-poor-will population in the U.S. is unclear, but some theories include habitat destruction and introduction of invasive species, feral cats and dogs as predators, poisoning by insecticides and the decline of the moth population on which the bird feeds.

Whip-poor-will sightings in West Virginia should be reported by email to DNR biologist Rich Bailey at richard.s.bailey@wv.gov.

The date and location should also be included. Birders' contact information should also be provided.

More information on whip-poor-wills, and audio of the bird’s call can be found here

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

-- Photo: Wikipedia



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