Nighthawk

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Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor)

Nighthawk

Often seen on dull days as well as dawn or dusk, the long slender wings of nighthawks exaggerate their size.  They are 10 inches long, but seem bigger.

At rest, they perch lengthwise on branches, crossarms, or logs, or on the ground.   In the air, their flight is a series of fluttering spurts, followed by long glides.   Before aviators broke the sound barrier, nighthawks had their own 'sonic boom,' created by diving vertically from considerable height and flaring sharply upward near the ground.

Flying insects, from mosquitoes to beetles and moths, are their only food.   Nighthawks build no nest, the two young being raised on the bare ground, or flat roofs.

Nighthawks nest in all states except Hawaii and winter in South America.


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