Calendar

May
21
Tue
Creatures of the Night: Whip-poor-wills and Their Insect Prey @ Heller Nature Center
May 21 @ 7:00 pm
Creatures of the Night: Whip-poor-wills and Their Insect Prey @ Heller Nature Center | Highland Park | Illinois | United States

Eastern Whip-poor-wills are declining, and one reason may be a simultaneous decline in the nocturnal insects on which they feed. University of Illinois PhD student Grant Witynski and other members of the Ward Lab of Ornithology have conducted hundreds of hours of insect trapping using ultraviolet-light traps on Whip-poor-will breeding grounds. By using fecal DNA metabarcoding to detect prey species consumed by Whip-poor-wills, Witynski is seeking insights into their foraging ecology that provide clues to their falling populations and suggest future directions for conservation efforts. This program will be followed by a weekend field trip to Illinois Beach State Park to hear the bird call its name and hopefully catch a glimpse at nightfall.