Friday, June 13, 2008

NIGHTHAWK! (Skywatch Friday)

Lesser Nighthawk: Photo No. 8 in series of 9 all taken by Kathie June 12, 2008 @ approx. 7:30 a.m. MST in Sycamore Canyon Wash. All photos shot with the Nikon D80 70 -300mm zoom lens set in sports mode. All photos copyright of Kathiesbirds 2008.

Lesser Nighthawk No. 1

I got it! For those of you new to this blog, a few weeks ago I posted this entry berating the fact that I could not get a shot of a Nighthawk. Well, dear sweet husband gallantly said, I'll get that photo for you honey, and this Nighthawk Photo was his attempt. I love the artistic quality but you really can't see the bird. But, yesterday morning when I was out in the wash shooting pictures of Purple Martins, this beauty was still up hunting insects and he came swooping and gliding right towards me and then past. Look at the whole series to get the feeling of this magnificent flyer who eats a pile of insects every night. Nature's insect control in not harmful to the environment and so much more fun to watch!
Lesser Nighthawk 2
Lesser Nighthawk 3
Lesser Nighthawk No. 4.
Lesser Nighthawk 5

Lesser Nighthawk 6




Lesser Nighthawk 7






Lesser Nighthawk 9

Lesser Nighthawks are cepuscular birds, hunting insects mainly at dawn and dusk. The Lesser Nighthawk, also known as the Trilling or Texas Nighthawk, is different from the more common nighthawk in range and voice. Lesser nighthawks hunt and breed over semi arid desert and grassland. the female lays 2 eggs on the ground and stays with them to incubate the young. While she tends to the eggs, the male hunts and brings her food. Nighthawks belong to a group of birds called Goatsuckers on the mistaken belief that, with their wide mouths, they sucked milk from goats. To learn more about Nighthawks visit:



All About Birds Online

Wikipedia

Whatbird




To see more entries visit Skywatch Friday hosted by Wigger's World.

36 comments:

Quiet Paths said...

Katie, those are so great. We have them here but I've never been able to view one so well. They are elusive! Excellent pics.

Abraham Lincoln said...

I must have lost what I just typed. Shucks.

I said that we used to have nighthawks here and they nested or rested in the eve spouting of the neighboring barn. In the early evening they would fly high up and then turn and dive at top speed towards the ground and pull out at the last second and their wind feathers fluttered really loud. They also made their normal sounds.

I used to tell people that they flew because they loved flying and I thought they were the most graceful birds in the sky.

I have not seen them in years and wonder if they are still around somewhere. I had not even thought of them until I read your blog today.

Your photographs are beautiful. I wish we had some nighthawks here to show you.

Kathiesbirds said...

Quiet paths, Most people in the U.S. have the Common Nighthawk. The lesser in the one we have down here in AZ and it's range is pretty limited to the southwest. The Common Nighthawk is larger with even more of a bend to its wings and the white spot is closer to the bend whereas the lesser's white spot it closer to the tip. Thanks for stopping by.

Abe, I can't believe you got here so quickly! I just read somewhere that Common Nighthawks are declining in the north due to the loss of habitat and, believe it or not, the use of rubber roofs. In the cities the nighthawks have traditionaly used the flat gravel rooftops to raise their young. there is an effort underway to create nesting areas on top of the large flat roofs so common in cities by adding a few gravel areas in the corners. Let's hope this is successful since these birds eat hundreds of insects and they are so beautiful to watch! Wish I could remember where I read that article!

Abraham Lincoln said...

Whatever you can come up with on the feeders will be a lot more than I got now. I have had no luck on peanut feeders. Thanks for your help.\

Abraham Lincoln said...

Well this neighbor's barn has a tin roof and still does. I don't know if there was something unique about the rusted area that ran down into the eve spouting or not, but the new owners replaced the rusted section and the nighthawks disappeared.

They also have to next up pretty high as I recall or rest for the night. I couldn't turn my shop roof into a nest with pea gravel I don't suppose. But if I thought it would work I would at least put something up for them as they were such magnificent birds and nobody around here even knew what they were or that they were here.

Old Wom Tigley said...

What a great set of pictures.. I would love to have been they to witness such a sighting... thank you for posting these today on Sky Watch.

Lynne said...

Wonderful pictures Kathie!
Great catch.

Ida said...

WOW!
Great series.
Love the first shot.
Wishing you a nice weekend! :)

Kathiesbirds said...

Abe, perhaps the nighthawks liked the rusted area because it simulated gravel? You could certainly try pea gravel on your shop roof if it is flat. Couldn't hurt. If I find that article I'll let you know where I read all this info from!

Ida said...

You are most welcome to come and sit with me on my veranda. :)

John said...

What a great series! Well done.

fishing guy said...

Kathie: What a wonderful shots you have of the hawk. I am still having trouble with flying birds. It's usually a one chance and I get excited to see them. Great SWF with your photos.

Small City Scenes said...

Beautiful shots. We have the common Nighthawk in WA, but I think only in the Eastern part of the state. Well that's when I have seen them. very interesting bird. MB

Kay said...

You have so many gorgeous photos on your blog, Kathie. I've never seen a nighthawk. It's so neat to see that white stripe on their wing.

Texas Travelers said...

I see you finally got your Nighthawk photos. Job well done.
They are really nice photos, especially to show the location of the wing bars...

Great, great series.

Your friends in Texas,
Troy and Martha

KatNell said...

Fantastic series! I am glad you got the shot even though I am sure Gus is disappointed he was not the one to capture it.

Sandpiper said...

These are wonderful pictures, Kathie. I've only seen them in one place ever. There were several of them soaring high in the sky. I took a couple of blurry pictures just to identify them. With those wing bars, there is no mistaking them. Maybe I already told you this. Oh well. LOL ;-)

peppylady said...

I'd like to post some bird picture for sky watch friday.
Thanks for the visit earlier.

esnorway said...

werry nice shots

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I love the white strips across the wing tips :)

Island Rambles Blog said...

YOU DID IT!!! Yes kathie I remember the posts about the Nighthawk and I am so excited for you...you got AMAZING shots!!!!I am so happy......lovely blue colors in your sky....we have rain and more rain....come and see my bride in the sky..if you already visited my blog, then thanks...cheers!!

Gattina said...

Wow, these pictures are amazing !

Stacey Huston said...

Great pictures.. I stumbled upon one sleeping on the ground out in the hills one day.. I was really surprised, wish I had known and could have gotten some pics of it there.. but such is life.. Wonderful of you hubby to help out..

bobbie said...

So glad you finally got your bird! These are beautiful pictures. When you found him, you did a great job.

me ann my camera said...

This is a wonderful Nighthawk photo, and being one who often finds it very frustrating to get a good photo of one, I can appreciate the beauty and skill of that first photo. Lovely! And truly a skywatch too for Nighthawks are are ever skyward. We have the Common Nighthawk here.
Thank you for having visited my sky watch at varying seasons

The Texican said...

Ahhh, the dreaded Chupacabra. Great shots Kathie and hubby.

Marvin said...

A job very well done, Kathie. Great photos of the nighthawk.

Mary said...

Awesome shots! I'd fall over to see a nighthawk. Wonderful.

merlinprincesse said...

What a beautiful bird! I've never seen one here... I don't thing they like cold countries..hhehe..:)

Jennifer Robin said...

Nice series of captures!

Pernille's ting og tang said...

These is just wonderful!:)

Gallicissa said...

Kathie,
Those are wonderful captures. I like the first of the series. Nice post

Kathiesbirds said...

Thank you every one for your kind thoughts and comments. It's always fun to see who shows up and to meet new people and find new blogs! I love Skywatch Friday. Thanks Old Wom Tigly, Sir Wom of Wigger's World!

Kathiesbirds said...

Abe, that article I read about the Nighthawks nesting was published in Birdscope. I tried to find it in their online publication but it wasn't there. The peanut feeder is made by Audubon.

Roy Norris said...

Brilliant images Kathie.

Mary C said...

Kathie - superb photos of an "elusive" kind of bird. That first shot is magnificent. Thanks for sharing.