Stop Whip-Poor-Will from Making Noise

As a blogger on wordpress and blogging in general, we are obsessed with stats, we want to know how many people are visiting our blogs, what they are looking at and what they are searching for to reach our blogs.  With all that comes some pretty strange stuff.  Take for example a search term I had yesterday:

stop whippoorwill bird from making noise

Wow.  Little do these people know how lucky they are to even have Whip-poor-will’s to bug them.  As for their question, you can’t stop them.  You should feel honored that they have chosen your woods to live, that you have a healthy mature forest ecosystem.  Many people spend years looking for these birds and others, like myself who have had the pleasure of listening to these birds frequently are disheartened as fewer birds return year after year, while suburban sprawl reaches into new areas.

Tomorrow night, starting shortly after sunset, my wife and I will be doing our part to help protect the whip-poor-will by participating in a whip-poor-will survey, which will start near Freehold in Greene County, NY and go about 9 miles south.  I certainly hope we find some, I have a tremendous amount of hope going into tomorrow and to not find any will be a major disappointment.  The days of yore when people like Thoreau, would hear 15 or more Whip-poor-will’s at a time are gone, but we need to make every effort to save the 1 or 2 pairs left in these strongholds and find new strongholds and protect them as well.


34 responses to “Stop Whip-Poor-Will from Making Noise

  1. I’ve been trying to tell my boyfriend about them and he’s not been fortunate enough to hear them. I used to have one outside my window when I was younger and since we’ve moved, I’ve not heard a single one, which is sad.

  2. Hello to all you whip-lovers out there. You all are MORE than welcome to come visit my home in the Salem, SC mountains, and listen to our whips all you wish. In fact, you have my permission to humanely capture them, and take them as far away from my home as possible, and listen to them until the end of time. From early April to late July, I am kept awake all hours of the night while these annoying nuisances park their butts right below my bedroom window and run their mouths incessantly. I never get a peaceful night’s sleep until August or so. No amount of white noise, ear-plugs, or pillows can mask that shrill police whistle noise of theirs in my otherwise silent forest. Please tell me how to deter these pests from camping out RIGHT under my window…!!

  3. I agree with the above response!!!!!!!!!!! We live in Macon, GA and the whippoorwills keep us and our neighbors awake on a nightly basis! I can’t think of a more annoying bird. How can one think that these are peaceful beasts? We have tried the shotgun method along with the golf club method and neither have worked. Actually, the shotgun method we thought was pretty effective until we heard them again a night later. DAMN! Please come down here and get these birds from our backyard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks the bird lovers

  4. Ditto on the last 2 posts. These birds are DRIVING ME CRAZY. They start at 9PM and disturb my sleep all night long. The other night, I finally gave up at 3:30 AM and got up for good.

    Bird lovers…come and get them! Just because something is ‘rare’ does not make it a blessing! i mean, leprocy is ‘rare’ but who wants it?
    I read somewhere to hang old CD’s in the branch that they take up residence on. The motion is suppose to keep them away. I’ll give it a try tomorrow and keep everyone posted!

  5. The CD idea is a possibility, just as something to create movement to scare them I guess. But the whips are ground birds, not tree dwellers. They stay in ravines or ditches mostly. Anyway, the good news is that by this time of year, early July, they have reproduced and are much quieter for the rest of the summer. By early Sept., they will be gone for the year. Plus the katy-dids are now in full voice and louder than the whip, but much easier to sleep through. This is our 3rd year dealing with the whips, and I’ve noticed that this summer, the whips overall were less noisy, and toned it down sooner than usual. By mid June, they sang only for 15-20 minutes, and stopped by 10pm. It does get easier to live with them year by year, it’s just the 1st year that’s a shocker…!

  6. hmmm agreed to rant posts, i live in a condo community, shotgun method wont work for me as i would probably go to jail. 🙂 I have always thought of asking my friend for hit paint gun and just blast the woods next to my window as any loud noises or movements seem to stop them for the night. You people from New York i have a ton of them here in Jacksonville, FL (south Georgia really, Florida doesn’t really start until Orlando) come get them while the getting is hot, after i get my weapons, reckon there wont be much to get.

  7. you know why I’m up . This bird makes me dread the nights because there is no sleep for me and to top it off he does not stop until day light.Somebody please helllllllllllllp!Im desperate for some night rest.

  8. The key to stopping these noisy creatures is LIGHT! I have suffered through the last 3 years and tried it all. Put things in trees (waste of time), bought a sonic bird screamer (waste of time and money!). This year I got 4 yard lights that I bought at Home Depot, hooked them up to an extension cord and…voila….quiet nights. It’s been 4 nights and the bird has not returned to my yard. Hopefully, he won’t return next year, but if he does, I’ll be ready.

    PS: these are not the solar-type lights.

  9. I live 20 minutes north of Alexandria Louisiana on a private 20 acre lake surrounded by an additional 30 acres of wooded property. We have noticed the beautiful sound of the whippoorwhill in various areas around the lake. It is a beautiful sound and is much appreciated. We love the country life because land and wildlife cannot be replaced. Try to embrace the sound and slow down and enjoy life and the blessings God has given us. If that doesn’t work, ask your M.D. for xanax.

  10. Looking at some of your postings I am sadened at how dreadful we’ve become as a society. Watching sick shows on TV such as housewifes of NYC, the kardashians, people on bluetooth devices who almost always shock you when you think “wow, is someone talking to me?”, only to find out they have an earpiece stuffed in the ear like the Borg. I am truly sorry guys that the whippoorwhils are annoying you at night.

    I used to have several in the woods behind my house and they are now gone. I’m desperate to find out what can I do to bring them back?

    • Go rent Walton reruns if you want to hear the damn things. It is 3:00 am. I’m at my 580 acre farm camping out. Surrounded by those noisy buggers. Useless to use shotguns cause another takes their place. As SOON as I get to sleep here they go. Coyotes- where are u when you can be of use to me!!!

  11. This birds sound, as annoying as it is to you people, is there sound. If you buy a house in the woods, and then you complain about nature. You are a selfish human being. Its like buying a house next to the airport and complaining about planes. If you live in the southern eastern united states, and u dont like nature, MOVE OUT. Its sad that intelligent people have to deal with unitellisent folks. YOU MOVED TO A MOUNTAIN, THERE IS GONNA BE ANIMALS. I am flabergaste that i even had to point out the stupidity in that posting. Next, you may want all the squirrels removed. And then, lets cut down the trees. Think lady. dont move to a mountain if you dont like nature.

  12. Dear author of the above post:

    Your post regarding everyone else’s stupidity is so full of errors, the irony is sickening.

    To address your point, there are mosquitoes in the woods, too. Should we embrace them? How about ticks? We’re not talking about killing these birds, just trying to get some sleep. These birds, or rather their sounds, are a nuisance. Being a nature love and needing a good night’s rest aren’t mutually exclusive. If someone asks how to move whippoorwills along, and you think it’s foolish to do so, just don’t write a response. Do you think they’re going to stop being annoyed because of your post? Or move to the city?

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some hunting to do. Thank you for the motivation.

    -Sleepless in MA

  13. My family and I just moved just south of Ft Leonard Wood, MO. We have 15 acres out here in front of the Mark Twain National Forest. For the last week I have not had a good nights sleep due to that annoying bird whooping it up from midnight until 4am.I am a teacher not a bird enthusiast and I get the summers off. I believe I have earned the right to sleep in passed 4am. This morning around 4am I got SOOO feed up with the sound of its alarm clock singing that I went outside in my PJs, turned on the garden hose and sprayed in the direction of its sound. It went away!!! I got about 2 more hours until it came back to go off again!! I am going to try the light trick, thanks.

  14. This is an amusing thread of comments ranging from 2007. I too can not stand the irritating wail of the whip-poor-will. The sound of this bird pulls me from sleep every time they open their mouths. Last night I spent 2am-4am dozing in and out of sleep, just praying this stupid bird would shut up. I love nature. I love where I live. I didn’t move there without the understanding of nature, but I didn’t move there to spend my nights awake and my days holding my eyes open. Bobby’s belief above that I am somehow stupid for being bothered by a continuous chirp of a bird, is irritating to me. If you moved into a house and an alligator decided to move under your porch would you just go “Oh well, I moved to this area, I knew alligators lived around here.” Or would you have the alligator moved to a safer location.

    My question is why is this bird’s house and habits more important than mine? I’m nature too. It is much easier for the bird to move to a new home a few hundred yards away than for me to pack and sell my house. I often hear people say that man and nature can live together in harmony, but those people always mean man should adapt to nature, never the other way around.

  15. I think I can speak for many when I say this…if these birds wouldn’t sing 5 to 10 feet away from my bed, but move about 50 feet away, then I could sleep. It truly is like an alarm clock when all’s well–everyone snug asleep–and then literally 5 feet away, the loud, incessant noise of the whippoorwill begins. It will make you beg and plead with it! Please move along!!! If we are forced to go the shotgun route, it may be a whippoorWONT! We mean no harm really–just some quiet once in a while at night.

  16. Wow..
    I enjoy the persistent song. I cannot believe how many find this little guy so annoying.

    I imagine these folks are bothered by the flashing of fireflies also..

    I am grateful we still have enough of these guys doing their thing.

    A few years back in Az I took my two little girls to see the prairie dogs all over lower Chandler and found none anywhere we traveled all the way down 87 to the Gila River Indian reservation and with their permission wandered around looking for some signs of mounds..
    Did not see a one..

    So close your windows and the rest of us can enjoy what little of nature we can get to see and hear these days..

    An original “conservative” treehugger

  17. I have a bird that will not shut up all night. I am about to set up poison bird food and a phoney owl. All nature lovers please come up with an alternative way to get it to stop FAST. I will kill this bird if it won’t shut up.

  18. I haven’t heard a whip-poor-will in over 30 years and I miss it.As a kid playing outside at dusk I would always stop and listen.The memories I have of laying on my back on the grass and watching for shooting stars,the sound of my grandmothers wooden screen door slamming and the sounds of children playing,dogs barking,church bells on a Sunday and the call of the Whip-poo-will. When they say you can never go home again it is so true.I long for those days…

  19. This is an interesting thread I have come across while searching for a whip-poor-will cd I could play to help me sleep.
    It was the birds and the toads that would knock me out at night when I lived in northern Wisconsin. Now I live in Milwaukee and it’s the idiots burning down the streets in their tuner cars at 2 AM that wake me up.

  20. I cannot believe that this stupid bird causes such chaos in my life here in Costa Rica. No sleep at all. He carries on for 10 hours for at least 5 months until the rainy season. My husband has tried everything to get this little bird top move across into another valley but no joy. He loves our black top road, loves the lights and just moves a little when we try to scare him and is back in 10 minutes. So now we are going to borrow a shotgun and to hell with all the bird lover theories. Come and try to sleep here if you want and then make any dumb comments

  21. Firstly let me say that i am a nature lover, and i can understand that not sleeping well for 3 months out of the year could put a damper on ones overall out look on life. But that being said I hope you do realize that shooting these birds is illegal in the US and many neighboring countries, because they are endangered. And they are endangered because, nature is being adapted to humans. Here is a suggestion, the bird likes open woods with not much tangle. i.e. if your home is in a wooded lot and you keep all the weeds and brush down you have made a happy home for whippoorwills. Try cutting back the tree line from your house. The birds call mostly during breeding season and they breed in the woods or on the edge of woods. Push back the tree line and the birds will move back as well.

    • I, too, have difficultly sleeping through that irritating call and suffere from occasional insomnia as well. There are nights I could literally wring those birds’ necks, especially the one so close to our house, if I could find them. However, I am also a nature lover which is why cutting back the tree line from our house is out of the question. Not only are the trees valuable in and of themsevles, but they also provide nesting areas for many other birds in this area as well as a place to hang our many bird feeders which attract and feed many of those birds including cardinals and even, once in awhile, a painted bunting. I’ll try the back yard light and see if that works. My family and I are getting desparate for me to have a good night sleep and really can not wait until mating season is over.

  22. Yes you can stop them, easy and seen it done and dont it before
    birds in a tree too

    make a loud noise , try just yelling shut up or anything,
    and or like firecrack will work
    just one time should work

  23. Obviously, these folks are unaware of how lucky they are! Every spring, when you first hear a whippoorwill, you are supposed to make a wish and it will be granted! I did this for years, and every single time, my wish was granted! What I would give if I could hear a whippoorwill now!

  24. I used to go to sleep to the sound of the whip-poor-wills when I was a kid. If I woke up in the early morning I would hear them outside my window and it was a very comforting, familiar sound. I never had any trouble falling back to sleep again. I don’t know what happened to them now…I still live in the same house in western South Carolina and nothing has changed around here…there’s been no development within miles, the house hasn’t changed at all for the past 200 years…there’s 360 acres of forestland around us…the whip-poor-wills just stopped coming. I’m twenty-one now and it’s been eight years since I heard one. I really miss them a lot. I wish I knew why they went away 😦


  26. Whipporwills may cause cancer. Yep, you heard me right; I can prove it. Ahem… interrupted sleep has been proven to contribute to cancer; and, as whipporwills interrupt sleep all night long, over and over and oh, my goodness, get me the shotgun, shut up, will ya, and that’s everynight; then, it follows, that whipporwills may cause cancer. Nature, my foot.>> I was born one mile outside the NYC limits. We NYers do noise. Makes us cranky but tough. I survived chemo and radiation 10 years ago for breast cancer, then moved to the country to be able to get a good night’s sleep away from all that unrelenting plane and train racket. Seemed 86 acres would be enough to insure some quiet time. What a mistake! Maybe you can sleep underneath the El; but no one can ever rest when one of THEM is nearby. Could we at least think about getting the government to reclassify those birds as a risk to national health, like they did tobacco? I mean, the old tobacco barns around here have been permanently decommissioned, a testament to livelyhoods destroyed, towns decimated forever , all due to potential the health risks of, where was I?……..oh: how about taking those noisy, aggravating sleep destroyers (who are a cancer scourge — did I mention that enough times?) and sequester their little squirming, quivering, fluttery bird-butts inside those empty tobacco barns from May till August. Maybe they’ll get a good lung full of old dried tobacco particulate matter every time they draw in deep for their next, noisy, annoying tirade. Let them get cancer so we can get a good night’s sleep!

  27. The above comment is right, they have their nest on the ground, in leaves, in the woods, they stay close by, and during mating season is when they are the loudest, does anyone on here own a dog, they really do not like dogs. I am really surprised no one has let their dog out at night. Or cat for that matter. We have a bird that thinks our front porch is it’s sounding base, from which to amplify it’s song at night, much to my daughters dismay. I am losing patients with this bird, but, I will give him or her some time to raise it’s family. until then, it gets shoo’d away, back to the woods.

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