[va-richmond-general] Searching for a whippoorwill

  • From: Deannamail@xxxxxxx
  • To: va-richmond-general@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2005 07:02:14 EDT

When we moved to eastern Hanover county 15 years ago, we were mourning the 
loss of whippoorwills from western Henrico, and looking forward to a few more 
years of hearing them.  And for a few years, we did...even saw them...once had 
one sitting on the roof for a while.  No, it wasn't annoying.  Now, I strain my 
ears for them in the early hours every morning, starting around April.  Twice 
this year I've heard one at a distance; it's a "run into the house and drag 
out the partner to listen" moment each time.
This is the first year we haven't had nesting summer tanagers here.  I miss 
their daily calls too.

In this neighborhood, it's not so much the building of new houses that forces 
out the birds; it's the idiots who move into the houses (new or not) and then 
proceed to denude the surrounding forests on their 1o acre lots.  They cut 
all the "underbrush" (including blueberries, holly and mountain laurel), and 
acres of trees between their houses and the road.  And for what?  To grow 
"lawns", which require invasive grasses, fertilizer, and artificial irrigation, 
thereby create nasty runoff into Totopotomoy Creek, the Pamunkey River, and 
ultimately the Chesapeake.  The birds leave, the fish die, the natural beauty 
the land is destroyed.  

And no, it's not immigrants from other countries doing this...just good old 
stupid, greedy Americans, suburbanizing Hanover County with glee.


In a message dated 6/1/2005 5:45:31 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
jimvb@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:

> The biggest bird event for me is tracking down a whip-poor-will. I took
> a walk about 1/2 mile west from my home into a new development where the
> developiots are chopping down trees like there is no tomorrow. I have
> already seen killdeer hop around on the newly flattened ground. The past
> two nights, I heard the whip-poor-will in that area. I walked down a
> street in the area until I heard the bird whippoorwilling it up loudly
> in a treed area between two houses being constructed. Yesterday I went
> out and heard the bird somewhat farther south and east of where he was
> on Monday, but I could still hear the insistent whippoorwilling. From a
> distance this is a reminder of mild summer nights, but if I lived next
> door to one, I imagine I would find it annoying.

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