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( Originally Published 1894 )
The Whip-poor-will, which is peculiar to America, is celebrated for its singular melody, which is heard in spring to issue at night from the woods and glens of all parts of the country. It is a rapid warbling repetition of the name given to the bird, and is so distinctly pronounced, as to seem like the voice of a human being. It is a solitary bird, remaining silent and sequestered during the day, but at night it often approaches a dwelling, and pours forth its song upon the door-step, or a neighbouring tree. Chuck-Will's- This bird, also peculiar to America, is about Widow a, foot in length, resembling in colour, form, and habits, the whip-poor-will. It is a solitary bird, frequenting glens and hollows, and seldom making its appearance during the day. Its song, which is uttered, like that of the whippoor-will, at night, is a constant repetition of the sound, chuck-will's-widow, very distinctly articulated. It is common in Georgia, and is regarded by the Creek Indians with superstitious awe. It is very seldom seen in the Middle or Eastern States; "but I recollect once," says an American writer, "to have known a whole village in New England in terror and amazement at hearing one of them singing its strange song on the edge of a swamp. The superstitious part of the inhabitants considered it a prediction of some evil that was to befall a widow of the parish; but there was a diversity of opinion as to who the hapless Chuck-will's-widow might be."