Posted by: atowhee | June 10, 2022


From my essay on Common Nighthawks:  “I could envision the long wings, the cruising speed of twenty miles per hour, the wide mouth for catching flying insects.  How is the nighthawk so successful a hunter?  Over short distances it outraces the insects.  A mosquito travels at about 1.5 miles per hour; the nighthawk can move more than ten times as fast.  A common nighthawk wings across the sky with its mouth wide open and overtakes flying insects…A single nighthawk stomach was once found to contain five hundred mosquitoes…
“The bonus to an early spring visit is that, right after their spring return, nighthawks are sufficiently hungry to hunt any time of day.  At that time you have the best chance to spot dozens feeding midday, under bright skies in full sunlight.  Bring your camera.”  
–In EDGE OF AWE. Oregon State University Press.  2019.

There were dozens of foraging and diving and whirling and diving nightahwks in this flock. It was early afternoon along Hwy 205, flooded fields just north of the road to Diamond. Bring your camera, indeed.

Some nighthawks from earlier visits:

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