Large night bird with a remarkably big head. Plumage is variable, ranging from grayish to strikingly rufous, but always intricately patterned. Very similar to Whip-poor-will but larger, longer-winged, and more rufous. Chuck-will’s-widow has less white in the tail than Whip-poor-will, but can be difficult to see. Strictly nocturnal, more often heard than seen. Listen for a loud whistled song calling its name: "chuck-WILL'S-widow." Sometimes found roosting on low branches during the daytime, especially during migration. Found in forests with mix of pines and deciduous trees.