Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Travelers - Common Nighthawk

Coming home from work, as approaching a familiar neighborhood, s traffic light made me stop (or, slow down). I habitually looked up sky and prodigiously, I saw about a dozen of Common Nighhawks (Chordeiles minor) soaring "low"! My binoculars were sent for repair and the worse was that my camera was not with me. Not sure how long these nighthawks would hang around my neighborhood, I rushed home and grabbed my gear bags and in less than 5 minutes I returned to the intersection where I spotted these birds. Disappointedly, they were all gone. Suddenly, I saw a huge flock of them flew over to a hill. Wow, amazingly, they were still around, not 12 this time but over 200 of nighthawks preying aerial insects in a valley between these hills.


Taken under a low light, not a great shot.
Just want to show you how beautiful this Common Nighthawk could be :)


Common Nighthawks are nocturnal birds. They roost during the day and prey flying insects at dawn and dusk. Their cryptic, well-camouflaged appearance makes them almost invisible at daytime. But they can be easily identified by their unique calls (click link to hear their calls) and a white patch on their wings in fly. They are unique to the North America and migrate each fall and winter in the South America to the area as far as Argentina. During fall migration, one can easily spot 20 or hundreds of these birds. Next time, when a traffic light halts you, look up the sky and you might have an amazing find! -- Happy Birding! -- Linda






I was about to discover something amazing....
A huge flock of Common Nighthawks preying and flying over the hill

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