Monday, July 18, 2011

Featured Feathered Friend: Common Nighthawk

Last year just about this time, we had the privilege of taking a field trip with our local Audubon Society chapter to a Duda Farms. It's a local farm that floods its fields every summer for some reason I cannot recall. But when this occurs, all the grubs hiding in the dirt come up to the surface, and the birds have a field day! All kinds of shorebirds come to feast on this bounty. Knowing this, Duda Farms has kindly allowed birding groups to come out and feast their eyes on this bird bounty.

Common Nighthawk on green beam

One such memorable bird from this trip was the Common Nighthawk. Although they're not shorebirds, we clearly remember there being lots and lots of them. This was the first time Nick and I had seen so many.  They were many perched in nighthawk fashion on the phone/electrical wires along the roads all the way to the main farm entrance, and there were a number of them flying about during our trip along the farm roads.

Head on look at a Common Nighthawk

We were also lucky to have one greet us at our first stop before trekking along the maze of rocky farm roads. This male Common Nighthawk pictured here was perfectly perched on a bright green beam of some shed. It was just begging to be photographed! And it was so kind enough to let us do so. A number of us inched our way closer and closer to the nighthawk, snapping away as he stayed put resting with his eyes barely open. You can see his tiny bill, his bright white collar contrasting against his spotty brownish head and V on his breast and his lovely striping on his belly. Also notice the conspicuous white feather on the wing, and his primaries projecting just past his tail.

Common Nighthawk

He was a lovely subject, and it was a great opportunity to get nice views of this Common Nighthawk!


  1. Wow, that last shot is awesome!

  2. Wow--interesting looking bird! Thanks for pointing out all of those features--I hadn't even noticed the neat striping on his belly!

  3. Beautiful photographs - we had a feeding flight over downtown Courtenay, BC this weekend and it was awe inspiring!