There are only two nightjar species known to breed in Maine: the secretive, nocturnal Eastern Whip-poor-will and the more visible, crepuscular Common Nighthawk. Both of these birds are experiencing declines throughout their ranges, the extent of which in Maine is unknown. A third nightjar species, the Chuck-will's-widow, has rarely been reported within the state, is known to be experiencing a northward range expansion.
These birds are well camouflaged by their cryptic plumage making them tough to spot. They are easier to hear under the right conditions, however. Eastern Whip-poor-wills sing onomatopoeic songs on moonlit nights. Common Nighthawk perform "boom" displays on summer evenings. For more information, click on the links below.