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These birds may be Common Nighthawks.  I have not seen any Common Nighthawks before so I am not completely sure if that is what these birds are.  About fifteen came by last evening at dusk.  I was surprised at the sudden appearance of these pigeon-sized, very fast birds that swooped all around the pond area.  They were either way up in the air or were racing around the pond so it was hard to take their picture.  The Common Nighthawks live all over the United Staes of America but only spend the Spring and Summer here.  In Fall, they migrate South all the way down to South America!  These are insect eating birds and are especially good at catching flying insects.  They also are not really any kind of hawk.

I was amazed though, that all of the other birds and waterfowl left the area quickly when this flock of visiting birds appeared.  Even most of the cattle got out of the pond.  Strange.  Guess they were wary of the new birds that may have been both an annoyance and a competitor.  I took the pictures here in the yard on August 25, 2012.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy.  I would appreciate any birders who can let me know what these birds are.  Thanks!

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Comments on: "Are These Common Nighthawks?" (10)

  1. I’m not a birder, but I’d say those are certainly nighthawks. I remember when I was a kid there were lots of them where I lived.

  2. Yes, it does look like the nighthawk. They have a huge wingspan. I have only seen one perched on a tree limb. They are cool birds. Great sighting. Have a happy day!

    • Hi Eileen, Thank you for your kindness in confirming the bird’s identity. Nice to have birders like you to lend a hand. Have a fantastic coming week and a wonderful day today!

  3. TexWisGirl said:

    those white wing slashes certainly give them away. nice!

  4. The Birding Bunch said:

    I’ve never seen one myself, so that is a great find for you! I checked allaboutbirds.org and was able to rule out other nighthawks based on range. They look similar to the Will birds, but the markings are different.

    That is interesting how all the other birds fled.

    I hope you have a great week and see more interesting birds. 🙂

    • Hi Birding Bunch, Yes, all of the birds – Starlings, Heron, Wood Duck, Cormorant fled. Even the Canada Geese moved elsewhere. The cows got out of the water, too. Must be a rather universal signal of something’s around here that may not be good. Ha! Who knows? No sign of the flock of Nighthawks but they may turn up a bit later in the evening if still in the neighborhood. Thanks for your great info. I so appreciate it. Have a great coming week!

  5. Yup, that’s a nighthawk! (I don’t actually have them here but I did a quick computer search.) They’re supposed to scream rather annoyingly about dusk. But they are pretty exciting! I’ve always wished they lived here.

    • Hi Song, Many thanks. I did not hear the birds at all but then, the European Starlings en mass were chattering as their huge flock moved from the pond area so it got noisy without my noticing the Nighthawk cries, if any. They are very fast birds! Thanks again for your help and nice comment. Have a fantastic coming week!

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