Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Common Nighthawk Chordeiles minor

Common Nighthawk Chordeiles minor
This species is a common insect-feeder. It typically hunts at dusk, flying with its huge mouth wide open to catch insects on the wing, but it is also seen by day, and it has adapted to a wide variety of habitats, including rooftops in cities. The Common Nighthawk's cryptically colored plumage breaks up the outline of the bird when it is perched on the ground, helping it to escape the notice of predators.

Identification Mottled gray, white, black, and brown above; underparts buff with brown bars. Long, pointed wings marked with white patch near bend, visible in flight, as is white throat patch. Tail long. Female slightly duller than male.

Voice A nasal, insectlike beeerp or brrrrrrp.

Habitat Open woodlands, forests, meadows, sagebrush plains, and cities.

Range Breeds from SE. Alaska east to Quebec, south to N. California, Nevada, SE. New Mexico, Texas, and Florida. Winters in the tropics.

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