Last night was the first evening this spring when I felt like sitting out on the patio, listening. I was hoping to hear our first "whip" of the year, but all I heard were robins squabbling, a cardinal singing, and cowbirds sounding like dripping faucets.
I checked my eBird records and said to myself, "Well, it's a bit early." The last couple of years I heard the bird on 4/15 and 4/17. Another few days, I figured. Then, at around 11:30, as I was drifting off to sleep, I heard "Whippoorwill! whippoorwill!" My eyes flipped open. I called Shari to listen and she commented that this one still hasn't "learned its lines yet." We've notice that some birds hesitate after a few "whippoorwills," cry a single "whip!" then start all over again, as if they suddenly remembered what they were about.
And so it starts. Our neighbors, who all seem to be deaf when I'm talking to them, can hear the Eastern Whip-poor-will's song very clearly and they all seem to find it annoying.
We, on the other hand, love it.