my dad and i sat quietly enjoying the stillness of the blue-black night on sebago lake last night. then suddenly there came a loud call. my dad jumped up, startled and excited. "it's the whip-poor-will!" he hadn't heard one in these parts in decades. i've been coming here for over 40 years and have never heard one. their numbers have declined 97% since the 1980s, thought to be a result of insecticide exposure.

they are nocturnal. i couldn't help but recall all the lonely heartbreak songs that include the forelorn call of the whip-poor-will (Hank WIlliams Sr in I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry -- “hear that lonesome whip-poor-will, he sounds too blue to fly.”). we wished this fellow well, hoping he finds his mate.

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