Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Oklahoma
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Oklahoma Project

Development, validation, and implementation of a survey protocol to evaluate distributions and habitat associations of whip-poor-will and other Oklahoma nightjars

January 2022 - June 2024


Participating Agencies

  • Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

Birds that are aerial insectivores, including nightjars (family Caprimulgidae), are experiencing steep population declines across North America. The Whip-poor-will, which has declined by 69% since 1970, is an Oklahoma Species of Greatest Conservation Need that occurs in several Very High and High Priority Conservation Landscapes in the Ozarks and Ouachita Mountains Regions. Yet, the Whip-poor-will’s population status and habitat associations are unknown in Oklahoma, largely due to the challenge of monitoring this and other nocturnal nightjar species. This project will increase information about Whip-poor-will and other Oklahoma nightjars through the development, validation, and implementation of a survey protocol that can be used in the future by ODWC to evaluate nightjar distributions and trends. This research is a collaboration between the USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Oklahoma State University, and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. This project will substantially increase knowledge about Whip-poor-will and other nightjars in Oklahoma, providing a baseline for monitoring future changes in population status, and benefiting rangewide conservation efforts to recover the Whip-poor-will’s North American population.

Presentations Presentation Date
Broadway, M., R.C. Lonsinger, T. O'Connell, and S. Loss. 2024. Co-occurrence and behavior mediate interactions between sympatric nightjars exhibiting differential responses to landscape characteristics. American Ornithological Society Annual Meeting, Estes Park, CO. October 2024