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Legend says the whip-poor-will can sense a soul
departing, and can capture it as it flees. This is used as a plot device in H.
P. Lovecraft's story The Dunwich Horror. This is likely related to an earlier
Native American and general American folk belief that the singing of the birds
is a death omen. This is the song of an eastern whippoorwill (Antrostomus
vociferus) recorded in a New Hampshire forest. Several of these birds have been
singing around my home at night for the past few weeks and one got close enough
to get a good recording from a mic placed on the porch.