Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Common Nighthawk

For the past few years, I've noticed a lack of Common Nighthawks (Chordeiles minor) around Estevan - ever since the huge, old, brick Estevan Collegiate Institute building was torn down.  I'm pretty sure these birds nested on the flat parts of the roof.  [They are also ground nesters - clearings in trees near water.  Well, we do have a lot of water around here this season....and now a lot of mosquitos!] 

Lately, though, there is at least one, hopefully two, nighthawks often cruising the sky over my place in the evenings, issuing their familiar nasal 'peent' (others may choose to translate the call otherwise, 'peent' is the way it sounds to me)

A week or so ago, I found a group of 17 nighthawks out near Mainprize Park (west of Estevan some 50-60 kms).  That particular windy afternoon, all except one were sleeping - or trying to sleep - on the rails of a corral. 

It was good to see such a good number of these insect-eating birds.  There's a lot of current concern about the rapid decline in numbers of the Barn Swallow.  Out here in the prairies, we still have a lot of Barn Swallows, but I would say the Common Nighthawk decline is not insignificant. 

Click on pix for larger & clearer, if you want.  It was pretty windy that day with feathers flying up and such; everything looks a bit blurry to me. 

For more information and an audio clip of 'peent', go to All About Birds:
and Wikipedia

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kathy
    Just a quick anonymous note to thank you for your nice comment on my Civil War posts. I'm not usually an anonymous comment BUT I can't access your blog (which I really enjoy) the usual way. Eblogs malfunctioning comment mechanism means, in your case, that the protocal for how you allow comments does not work for me & probably others as well. Its a bummer. :(