of the nocturnal Nightjars, the Chuck-Will's-Widow is named after its
continuous, repetitive song that is often heard at night. Primarily a
bird of the southeastern United States, they are rare visitors to the state.
Extremely shy, Chuck-Will's-Widows will generally flush upon approach,
moving away on silent wings.
Habitat: Wooded habitats, including conifer,
deciduous, and mixed forests.
Diet: Primarily insects, especially
large flying insects that are active at night. Also will eat small birds,
up to any size they can swallow whole.
Behavior: Nocturnal, foraging at night.
Captures insects in mid-air in its extremely large gaping mouth, either by
flying out from a perch or the ground to snag passing insects, or by
foraging while in constant flight.
Breeding: Rare breeder in South Dakota (Breeding Bird
Survey map unavailable).
Migration: Summers in the southeastern quarter of
the United States. Winters in Mexico, Central America, and northern
South America, with some over-wintering in Florida.
Conservation Status: Possibly declining in parts
of its range, due to habitat loss.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Chuck-will's-widow"
Photo Information: May 3rd, 2003 -- Cottonwood Forest
below Oahe Dam in Stanley County -