caprimulgus (from caper, goat, and mulgeo, to milk) carolinensis (of Carolina)
Monday, May 12, 1980 — 6:15 am
Conway, Arkansas — Happy Valley
I had been hearing Chuck-will’s-widows singing in the woods on the hillside next to the house every night since we arrived. I determined to try to find one before I left. I got up just as it was getting light this morning and headed into the woods. I heard one singing, and almost immediately flushed it from the ground about twenty feet in front of me. It landed in a tree about forty feet away. It sat parallel on a branch with one wing hanging down on each side. Its enormous mouth was held wide open. As I got closer, it flitted off noiselessly and disappeared. I was surprised at how large it was and how big the mouth was. It looked like its entire head was hinged at the back.