Together with barred and screech owls, tree frogs and coyotes, whippoorwills make the music of a rural spring night in the forest.
The disappearing whippoorwills are an icon to me showing that nature is not what it used to be.
At night, whippoorwills called from the big pines, and horned owls laughed back and forth as the moon rose.
As I type this, I can hear a whippoorwill in the woods, and there's a small bat flying around the yard light.
So have the whippoorwills
, which we loved listening to in the evenings but have not heard for many years.
That forest acreage had been home to probably two dozen species of birds, including rare warblers, stunning scarlet tanagers, reclusive vireos, whippoorwills
and pileated woodpeckers.
It took us awhile to get out of the city and into our dream place, but every night when the whippoorwills
sing me to sleep, I know it was worth every minute.
During field studies in Table Mountain pine forests, I've either observed or found evidence of deer browsing on the understory, turkeys scratching for insects on the forest floor, scarlet tanagers nesting in the forest canopy, pileated woodpeckers pounding for insects on old pine snags, whippoorwills
and ruffed grouse resting in the shrubs, and fence lizards scurrying up pine trunks.
Serenaded by whippoorwills
and owls interrogating the dark, I carefully wrap this day and store it in memory's treasure chest.