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By Elly Knight, Nightjar Survey Program Manager, WildResearch

Common Poorwill Photo: Alan Burger

WildResearch is seeking volunteers to survey for nightjars (birds in the nighthawk and whip-poor-will family) across Canada – especially in Manitoba and Ontario, where there are new survey routes available!
Nightjars are rarely detected on diurnal surveys because they are nocturnal birds, and so little is known about their ecology in Canada. There is concern that nightjar populations are in decline. The Common Nighthawk and the Eastern Whip-poor-will are already listed under Canada’s Species at Risk Act. Our third nightjar species, the Common Poorwill has been assessed as “Data Deficient.” Sign up for a survey route to help us learn more and conserve these birds!
Completing a survey route will require approximately two to three hours of surveying and one hour of data entry. Each route is a series of 12 roadside stops and needs to be surveyed once per year between June 15 and July 15. Anyone with a vehicle and good hearing is capable of conducting a survey! All data collected through the WildResearch Nightjar Survey are made freely available through Bird Studies Canada’s NatureCounts portal.
To sign up for a survey route, check out the available routes in your area at You can learn more about the program and find the survey protocol at: Please email if you would like more information.

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