Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Time to Watch for Migrating Common Nighthawks

Fall migration, while in its early stages is nonetheless in full swing right now heading for a peak in about the third week of September.  As August winds down and Labor Day approaches, there are some opportunities to observe the movements of some species through our area.

Start watching for common nighthawks late in the evenings. They will be flying overhead most noticeably around 7:30 PM to 8:00 PM. Sometimes the loose flocks can be rather sizable, numbering a few dozen birds.  Typically the number of individuals is much less but it is uncommon to see only one bird. If you see one, look around closely. They will be flying in the same direction. They are also often seen around the lights at area stadiums uptown. Some folks think they are bats but the nighthawks are much larger.

Recognize nighthawks by their larger size, long angular wings with two vertical white bars visible from the underside, and white throat.

Common Nighthawk by Cathy Miller