There may be more than one Chuck at West Mountain Ski Area outside of
Queensbury, Warren County.

Location: 43.2918891,-73.7302002. The site is relatively easy to access by
road from I-87 (The Northway), Exit 18.

Two groups of us were listening to one each (presumably); one from down by
the chair lift base, the other up the mountain road quite a distance away.

The first bird (by the base) started singing at about 8:20 PM from a
wood-edge across the way from the road. It (presumably) flew in closer and
sang repeatedly from nearby.

The second bird was singing up the road next to the car where the other
group of observers was stationed.

Later (8:40 PM), the lower bird (the first one) flew back across the ski
slope base to the woods where it had first been heard.

At the same time, the second (?) bird continued to sing next to the upper
group's car.

Will and I went up to the upper site and found that bird actively singing
and feeding (perched on and launching from a large rock just off a

Meanwhile, there was a plethora of Whip-poor-wills singing from various
places up and down the slopes and roadway.

One has to wonder if there may actually be more Chuck-will-widows in and
around West Mountain. Last year, one was found on private property (limited
access) 1/4 mile from the current site. Is there an enclave of Chucks in
Warren County? And, are these (?) birds the progeny of a colony that has
been in the area for any period of time prior to discovery?

I spoke with the ski slope owner who stated that birders are welcome to go
onto the ski slope trails and lift area anytime. The roadside chains are up
to keep ATVs out. I would suggest that if done so, that access to the base
areas and slopes be limited to daytime hours, not at dusk while the
Chuck-wills-widow (s) and Whip-poor-wills are active. He is also open to
bird friendly improvement suggestions to the site (bluebird nest boxes,
etc). Just park off the road and don't block the maintenance vehicle access

I would like to see an organized observer stake out (including last year's
limited access private property site) to try to pin down the number of
caprimugs in the area.

Game on?

Richard Guthrie



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