Posted by: atowhee | June 13, 2019


Any air travel can be exhausting.  Discomfort, unseen danger, turbulent weather, strange places and faces, unpredictable food quality. Even if you never have to check luggage or go through security shoeless.  Even if you have no shoes. Exhausting.  Especially if you have to flap your wings all the way…eve napThis guy had winitered in South America and was recently returned to Malheur…a trip of over four thousand miles in many cases…often they are seen passing through Ecuador, on the way further south…this is a bird that weighs just over 2 ounces, that’s one-eighth of a pound, that’s roughly one-fourth of the weight of the ordinary Norwegian rat that shares cities with humans the world over and never has to fly or travel far for food.  This fellow has to catch all his own food on the wing.
Here are two more at ease at Malheur Field Station, one just plunked down on the ground, where they always nest and often “roost” or should we say “rest’?IMG_3211 (2)IMG_3216 (2)Here we get one eye open, just to check that we weren’t within annoyance range.  Some of the birds would buzz us or scold us if they felt we infringed on their natural eye (2)At least a score of these birds hawked insects high above Chickahominy Reservoir in gusting wind one afternoon.  Here are two:coni above

Not all resting places have to be artificially horizontal, the nighthawk willing to take a slant on life:on limb.JPGIn this previous blog I explained why the June return of these birds draws me back each year.

I can’t resist plugging Edge of Awe, Oregon State Press’s newly published anthology of writings on Malheur.  I got the rewarding chance to write about the annual nighthawk visitation for that book.  Edited by Alan Contreras, the back contains writing from a wide range of contributors including Ursula LeGuin, William Kittredge and Noah Strycker.


  1. Great intro – BUT – when are you doing to tell us who this fine fellow/girl IS?

  2. Great post 🙂

  3. Reblogged this on Wolf's Birding and Bonsai Blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: