Fun Chuck-will's-widow Facts For Kids

Devangana Rathore
Nov 15, 2022 By Devangana Rathore
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel
Read on to know all about the Nocturnal Chuck Will's Widow facts- and share your favorite ones with friends.

The Chuck Will's Widow (Caprimulgus carolinensis) is the perfect bird if you are looking for an adorable, young companion to look at! Though these members of the Warblers' bird family from North America has a wide range of habitat, such as North American woodlands, around places like New York, they migrate in winter.

In winter, they will beat their wings, and leave the North American forest and fly towards their habitat in the many a South located forest of Mexico and occasionally, even Florida.

Do you want to know all about their range, habitat, wings, their travel to South Mexico, their diet, nesting and nests, and their young? Then look no further than this article!

However, as you read all about their habitat and young, you should also keep in mind that the Chuck Will's Widow rehabilitation and conservation is also a major topic. These North American species are losing their habitat, their nests, nesting locations, as well as their diet due to pesticides and need your help in conservation efforts.

Read on for a quick guide into these warblers of the night, and do not forget to also check out least sandpiper and kestrel bird.

Chuck-Will's-Widow Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Chuck-Will's-Widow?

The Chuck-Will's-Widow (Caprimulgus carolinensis) is a type of bird.

What class of animal does a Chuck-Will's-Widow belong to?

This bird, usually seen during dusk and dawn, belongs to the bird class of Aves.

How many Chuck-Will's-Widows are there in the world?

Due to a lack of research, the number of this bird is unknown. However, densities of Chuck-Will's-Widows have been recorded up to 30 birds per 40 hectares (excluding locations like New York).

Where does a Chuck-Will's-Widow live?

The Chuck-Will's-Widow range is in the eastern third of Texas and along the southern edge of the Edwards Plateau and it migrates to the West Indies, Central America, and northwestern South America. Their breeding places are in isolated areas like northwestern Indiana along Lake Michigan, southern Ontario,  and in central and southern Ohio.

The winter months are spent mainly in Central America.

They are migratory birds, with the exception of populations in southern Florida. Most populations leave their nests and can be seen arriving on the breeding ground and range in March and April.

What is a Chuck-Will's-Widow's habitat?

Oak and pine woodlands are the main habitats of Chuck Will's Widow. They breed in shady southern woodlands of various types like an open pine forest, oak woodlands, edges of swamps.

In Winter, they find habitats like subtropical woods and lowland rain forests in the tropics. They are quickly identified by their rolling, almost never-ending calls at dusk, dawn, pre-dawn, and night. They are often seen at night, sitting on the road or by the roadside, or around dusk, gliding over trees in search of prey.

Who do Chuck-Will's-Widows live with?

Generally, this nocturnal bird will live their own.

How long does a Chuck-Will's-Widow live?

This bird lives for approximately 12 years despite the various dangers to its lifestyle.

How do they reproduce?

Mostly they arrive on breeding grounds in March and start breeding in April. They make pairs within 10 days of females arriving on the breeding grounds.

These birds don't build a nest; they simply lay their eggs on the ground among dead leaves, bare dirt, or pine needles and use it as their nest. They typically nest and lay eggs in woodlands, either coniferous, deciduous, or mixed, but they may nest in brushy areas on rocky or sandy slopes.

The clutch size of an egg is one to four and the incubation period of the eggs is 20-21 days.

Eggs are white to gray in color. When they hatch, the juvenile Chuck Will's Widow will be weak, covered in long, light-brown down.

What is their conservation status?

Populations of these birds seem to be declining, although there may be insufficient data to draw conclusions about their conservation. Pesticides might be the biggest danger to this bird since they eat insects laden with the substance.

Chuck-Will's-Widow Fun Facts

What do Chuck-Will's-Widows look like?

Chuck-Will's-Widows are bigger than Whip-poor-wills but are similar species in overall appearance. These birds are the largest species of nightjar in North America.

These birds are colored in mottled, cream, cinnamon-brown, and black feathers which help them to camouflage when they roost on the ground or tree branches. Their length is 28-32 cm with wings from 20-22.5 cm long. These birds have long tails and weighing approximately 110 g. Females are slightly smaller than males.

How cute are they?

Though they can be relatively friendly birds, they do not attract any attention for their cuteness.

How do they communicate?

Male birds sing  16-30 times/minute from a perch. Generally, female birds don't sing but may answer muted calls from males. The Chuck Will's Widow song is used to inform mates about breeding territory and attract them.  When startled, or in territorial defense, these birds used different kinds of calls. When its eggs are threatened, this bird hisses.

How big is a Chuck-Will's-Widow?

This bird is the largest nightjar in North America, and about the size of a human palm. Its length ranges from 11-13 in. The length of the wingspan can range from 23-26 in. The bodyweight of the species is from 2.3-6.6 oz.

How fast can a Chuck-Will's-Widow fly?

These birds fly silently about 20 m above ground and may dive to catch flying insects. There is no data on their flying speed.

How much does a Chuck-Will's-Widow weigh?

The bodyweight of this bird is from 2.3-6.6 oz

What are their male and female names of the species?

There is not any specific name for males and females of the species. However, you can see that a Chuck Will's Widow identification is a long tail, and mottled brown colored underparts, brown and white patterns on their head and chest.

What would you call a baby Chuck-Will's-Widow?

There is not any specific name for a baby of this Warblers' family bird.

What do they eat?

These small birds eat nocturnal flying insects, mostly moths, and beetles. This bird flies just above the ground, most of the time along woodland edges, to catch flying insects in their big mouths as their diet.

They sit on perches, waiting for nocturnal insects to fly past them, so that they may catch them. As nocturnal (active at night) birds, they are only seen around dusk and dawn, when there is enough visibility for them to capture these insects. These birds use their rictal bristles to pick up insects.

These bristles are found around their mouth. In times of scarcity, this species can also fly closer to the ground for insects.

Are they friendly?

Basically, they are nocturnal birds and like to live alone. Therefore, even though they do require conservation, they are not a very friendly species.

Would they make a good pet?

Since these small birds are migratory species and travel to the South, it would greatly reduce their quality of life if they were to be kept in the same place all year round. Therefore they would not make a very good pet.

Did you know...

Chuck-Will's-Widow migration occurs in Texas from late March through early May and will start breeding soon after arriving on their breeding ground.

The Chuck Will's Widow call and sound are a sequence of calls with a vibrating middle note between two shorter notes.

How did Chuck Will's Widow get its name?

Its name derives from its repetitive, continuous song that is mostly heard at night. The song consists of a series of calls with a vibrating middle note between two shorter notes.

Chuck Will's Widow vs. Whip-Poor-Will

Chuck-Will's-Widows are larger and less gray than Whip-poor-wills. The outer tail feathers of Whip-poor-will have white tips, which is evident when the tail is opened up in flight. Chuck-Will's-Widows show white only on the inner half of these feathers, so the tail seems much less white overall.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including Meyer's parrot, or blue grosbeak.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our chuck-will's-widow coloring pages.

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Written by Devangana Rathore

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language, Master of Philosophy

Devangana Rathore picture

Devangana RathoreBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language, Master of Philosophy

Devangana is a highly accomplished content writer and a deep thinker with a Master's degree in Philosophy from Trinity College, Dublin. With a wealth of experience in copywriting, she has worked with The Career Coach in Dublin and is constantly looking to enhance her skills through online courses from some of the world's leading universities. Devangana has a strong background in computer science and is also an accomplished editor and social media manager. Her leadership skills were honed during her time as the literacy society president and student president at the University of Delhi.

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Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel

Bachelor of Business Management

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Yashvee PatelBachelor of Business Management

Yashvee has won awards for both her writing and badminton skills. She holds a business administration honors degree and has previously interned with social media clients and worked on content for an international student festival. Yashvee has excelled in academic competitions, ranking in the top 100 in the Unified International English Olympiad and placing second in an essay-writing competition. Additionally, she has won the inter-school singles badminton title for two consecutive years.

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