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Friday, August 29, 2008

Nighthawks, Yes!

Last night we saw 169 Common Nighthawks migrating over our property in NH. Fortunately, our property fronts on a pond that is a dammed up part of a river that runs south to north and nighthawks often migrate along river corridors. So, we are in a very good spot for seeing migrating nighthawks. At about 5 pm we got ourselves stationed on our deck with binoculars and from 5-5:30 pm saw 81 nightawks. We realized making dinner would be a challenge, so we tag-teamed grilling the burgers, one of us always scanning through our binos. We ate dinner with one hand holding the burger, the other hand holding the binos. In the next half hour 54 more nighthawks came, then 34 more over the next hour and a half. We ended at 7:30 pm. Very rewarding to see these unusual birds whose numbers seem to be dropping. Tonight we'll be watching again.

There is an official nighthawk count that comprises southern NH and the upper two-thirds of MA. If you live in these areas, try and watch for the nighthawks tonight and enter your data at their website, click here. The more we learn about the migration routes, numbers, and breeding habitat of these wonderful birds, the better the chance for protecting them.


tai haku said...

Sounds like a nice way to spend an evening; birds and burgers.

I guess we should start receiving migrant nighthawks down here in a few weeks.

A New England Life said...

I've never seen these before! They must be a sight. Aren't you lucky : )


LNMP298 said...

Beautiful! We're in a wooded area so I don't think we can see migrating nighthawks.

Anonymous said...

I am seeing them in the evenings near Tulsa, OK.

Anonymous said...

Your post really inspired me to do a little bird watching tonight. I had never thought to watch the skies for migrating hawks until last year when I was at a local apple orchard (Concord, NH) and saw to guys laying on their backs with binoculars pointed upward.

I was afraid to ask them what they were doing (I was thinking UFO's maybe). They told me they were counting hawks.

Long story short... I began watching for hawks from my deck here in central New Hampshire and I counted 95 last year.

I have not seen as many as you this year, only 8, but you have inspired me to spend more time watching and counting migrating hawks.

Thank you for your story.


Anonymous said...

I hope you don't mind, but I've included this post in I and the Bird #83.

Lillian Stokes said...

Hi Wren,
Thanks for including our post in you I and the Bird Carnival #83. You did a nice job with the carnival.

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