Our family went backpacking a few weeks ago at Horsetooth Mountain Park, and it turned out to be a memorable experience. We had three natural experiences that I had never encountered before.
As we set up camp on the first night, Dorinna and Nate looked for a spot to hang the food bag. They saw a strange bird sitting on the forest floor, and then Nate spotted the nest.
I came over to investigate, and the bird flew off, but not before I got enough of a glimpse to identify it as belonging to the Nightjar family. I used the birding app on my iPhone to figure out that based on appearance and location it was probably a Common Poorwill (go check out that site and see the pictures; then see mine below). I played the bird call from the app, and the bird answered, which was pretty cool.
The next morning we went to check out the nest, and couldn’t see any signs of the eggs. Even knowing exactly where it was, I must have searched for 15 minutes over the course of the morning before finally finding our bird snoozing on the nest.
Talk about your master of disguise! I wonder how close I’ve come to sleeping Poorwills in the past, and never noticed.
Poorwills are nocturnal, so our bird was still snoozing when we packed up later that afternoon.