Bird Board

Chuck-Will's Widow at Green Cay

A chuck-will's-widow was on display quite out in the open at Green Cay Wetlands yesterday, Sunday, Feb 10th. I had heard someone having reported seeing it near the front entrance feeders on Saturday, but didn't see it, so I looked around the area including from the parking lot circle to the east (to the left when exiting), and found him. He was sitting in a tree about 80-100 feet from the entrance sidewalk, just about 25 feet from the road, on an inner branch of the tree but in a clearing making him very visible. He spent most of the time napping, sitting upright with his head canted up, so his bill was up high. He was there for the entire 3-4 hours I was at the park, as I saw him when I first got there and when I left.

I know it's not a 'rarity' but it's a difficult bird to find and photograph, so hopefully this one may stick around a while. I should have some images downloaded by tonight.


Grover Larkins
5 months ago

Not a rarity at all. They freeze in the headlights on the ENP main park roads at night and I often have to stop, turn off the lights and, sometimes, get out of the car and move them or shy them off the road. I had to actually pick several up and move them. When threatened they can and will "freeze"; sometimes beyond reason.

Now about the Green Cay bird: It has been in an area that is posted off-limits as there is historically a bobcat that raises her young in that area and several photographers, determined to get a photo of the back end of a Chuck-Will's widow, were well into the prohibited area. This is neither acceptable nor ethical. Please if you see them in there ask them to leave! Best photos were from the parking area road anyways!

Justin Miller
5 months ago

I didn't see anyone walking down in that area, but surely would have raised a stink if they did. I've photographed the bobcats in that same gully area behind those trees, and don't like anyone going into restricted areas at wetlands or reserves. I've seen people jumping the fence along the levees at Wako too and made sure to report them to the security after they ignored my calls to leave that area.
I never considered whips or chucks to be rare birds - but from a photography standpoint, they're often very difficult to find to I'm always excited when I get the chance to see and shoot one.

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