The Sound of a Whippoorwill


The sound of the whippoorwill is becoming very rare, even in the country, but we hear them every evening in the spring. Now you can, too. If you’ve never heard a whippoorwill before, turn it up and listen for the more distant sound, beyond the crickets and frogs.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on May 16, 2011  

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26 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 5-16

    I grew up hearing them. It’s getting pretty rare to hear them at all now :cry:

  2. 5-16

    Wow, I have those “alien” sounding frogs here too, next door to you in Kanawha County. They kinda drive me crazy!! :dancingmonster:

    The whippoorwill was definately there in the background…hubby says thank you! :snoopy:

  3. 5-16

    Had to turn it way up for everyone to hear it…could hear it at the beginning. We’re starting to hear all those sounds, too. :happyflower: Summer sounds!

  4. 5-16

    Very cool! I don’t think I’ve ever heard one before but then I’ve never really listened to all the night sounds we have beyond the obvious ones.Thank you for that experience.

  5. 5-16

    Ohhhh i LOVE them, I remember hearing them when I was growing up, I’d sit at my bedroom window before going to sleep and enjoy them. They and frogs are the most peaceful sounds to me, probably cause of remembering them from my childhood. Unfortunately we don’t have them here in Nebraska…least not that I’ve heard. I sure miss the sound of them. :cry:

  6. 5-16

    We have a few who live near our property in Central Virginia – I hadn’t realized they were becoming rare. Such a perfect, enigmatic sound. I had never heard one before, but knew exactly what it was when it started up.

  7. 5-16

    Upload this on You can upload various recordings…I would love some of the farm and birdlife.

    Addictive Iphone app…puts me to sleep every night.

  8. 5-16

    Love the sounds of Spring time, as other have said relaxing and lul you to sleep sounds…as is well in the hood sounds:)

  9. 5-16

    Thank you! I also heard them growing up in Florida. I loved the sound, and haven’t heard any in a long time. Out here in Iowa my favorite bird sound is the mourning dove.

  10. 5-16

    We have one here behind our house every spring. It’s a wonderful thing…and one of those reminders of spring that we look forward to.

  11. 5-16

    That was wonderful, thank you!!!

  12. 5-16

    The song of the whippoorwill brought me back to my growing up years when my family owned a camp in the Adirondacks. After the death of my father the camp was sold but I’ll always have the wonderful memories of the fresh mountain air, swimming in the Sacandaga Reservoir, carefree walks in the woods and the nightly serenade of the whippoorwills. I’m sitting here listening to the recording with tears in my eyes. Thank you for a chance to once again hear their song.

  13. 5-16

    Add a cow bell clanging to that and you have the sounds I fell to sleep to every night from late spring to early fall. Granddad had a couple of cows that had big ol’ bells and they would lay out in the fields at night chewing their cuds, whippoorwills, frogs, crickets, and occasional coon-hound baying as they had one tree up on the hill behind the house were my night-time lullabies. I slept with the window open and my head by the window (no AC then) listening in stereo LOL!

  14. 5-16

    I was sitting on my sister’s back porch in NW Georgia in April when a Whippoorwill landed on the roof and started calling. I was talking with my husband on my cell phone (her back porch is one of the few places you can actually get cell reception in her area) and it was so loud it interrupted our conversation. I held the phone away from my ear and he enjoyed listening to the calls of the frogs and the whippoorwill. It will be a cherished memory!

  15. 5-16

    Thank you so much. I’ve never heard that before except for on The Waltons. That was wonderful :happyflower:

  16. 5-17

    Aww, now you’ve gone and made me homesick!
    Growing up in St. Pete’s “outback” and again when I lived out in the country in Monticello – outside of Tallahassee, FL, I had whippoorwills galore. And our frogs were tree frogs that sounded like ducks quaking. I now live “in the city” (if you can call a place with 7 lights and 2 streets a “city”) and there are no whippoorwills, or crickets or frogs. I miss the sounds of the night. Traffic and EMS vehicles do NOT count!

  17. 5-17

    A feather from the Whippoorwill
    That everlasting — sings!
    Whose galleries — are Sunrise —
    Whose Opera — the Springs —
    Whose Emerald Nest the Ages spin
    Of mellow — murmuring thread —
    Whose Beryl Egg, what Schoolboys hunt
    In “Recess” — Overhead!

    A feather from the Whippoorwill by Emily Dickinson

  18. 5-17

    Another one of the benefits of country living! Then there is the sound of coyotes howling off in the distance and the occasional owl.

    I enjoyed the whipporwill singing.

  19. 5-17

    when i lived in north fl i would get 6/8 baby bob-white late every fall and raise them all winter like pet birds. in the spring i would let them out with my chickens. they would eventually move on but for most of the summer they would put me to sleep every night.

  20. 5-17

    all of those sounds are marvelous. thanks for sharing this Suzanne. it puts a glow in my day. :airkiss:

  21. 5-17

    Aww, Jim. I had forgotten the call of the Bob-whites, too. Ok, now I’m SERIOUSLY homesick. Oh, well. I can remember it in my head. And I sure don’t want to move back into the heat. I like the cooler temps of north GA. At least it normally cools down at night and doesn’t stay in the high 80’s, even when it’s been in the 100’s during the day.

  22. 5-17

    I don’t know that I’ve ever heard the call of the whippoorwill before…are they not in NW Missouri? I’ve heard bobwhites, and in the last week I’ve seen two Indigo Buntings!! Lovely…just love the birdies!

  23. 5-17

    I live in the city limits and miss hearing those haunting sounds of the whippoorwill. They can be pretty loud but I surely would love to hear them. Its kinda like bobwhite quail…you seldom ever hear them either. Thanks Suz

  24. 5-17

    Here is a source where you can hear the whippoorwill. He’s a bit loud but I still love to hear it.

  25. 5-18

    Thanks for sharing this. :sun:
    I too grew up hearing this sound at night as I was going to bed. Or, when up late with my brothers fishing down at the creek.

    I don’t hear them anymore where I live, so this was a real treat and brought back some pleasant memories for me. :woof:

  26. 3-15

    Suzanne, I just found your site this morning … Wow, I’m going to go crazy here – so much to see, and read … I love it! Thank you for sharing with us. :sheep:

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