Small Whippoorwill

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“Antrostomus vociferus. Whippoorwill. Night-jar. Upper parts variegated with gray, black, whitish, and tawny; prevailing tone gray; black streaks sharp on the head and back, the colors elsewhere delicately marbled, including the four median tail-feathers; wings and their coverts with bars of rufous spots; lateral tail-feathers black, with large white (male) or small tawny (female) terminal spaces; a white (male) or tawny (female) throat-bar. Adult male: Assuming stone-gray as the ground-color of the upper parts: Crown with a purplish cast, heavily dashed lengthwise with black; back darker, with smaller streaks; tail beautifully marbled with slate-gray and black tending crosswise on the 4 middle feathers; scapulars with bold black centre-fields set in frosty marbling; hind neck with white specks, as if continued around from the white throat-bar. Primaries black, with a little marbling at their ends, fully broken-barred with tawny-reddish; no white spaces. Three lateral tail-feathers mostly black, with pure white terminal spaces 1-2 inches long. Under parts quite blackish, on the breast powdered over with hoary-gray, more posteriorly marbled with gray and tawny, tending crosswise. Lores and ear-coverts dark brown. It is only in perfect plumage that the colors are as slaty and frosty as described; ordinarily more brown and ochrey.” Elliot Coues, 1884


Birds: W-Z


Elliot Coues Key to North American Birds (Boston, MA: Estes and Lauriat, 1884)


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