Jul 13 2009

A Rare Sight

Published by at 7:12 am under Nesting & Courtship,Songbirds


Common Nighthawk on nest with young (photo by Paul Leverington)

Look closely under this mother’s breast feathers and you’ll see two babies, one of whom is yawning.

This common nighthawk is nesting on a roof and was found by Paul Leverington who owns a roofing business in Euclid, Ohio.  He’s also a fine photographer. 

Last month I wrote about the decline of common nighthawks, so I know how lucky Paul was to see one nesting.  A rare sight indeed!

(photo by Paul Leverington)

6 responses so far

6 Responses to “A Rare Sight”

  1. QuantumTigeron 13 Jul 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Stunning. No other word for it. Fantastic feather detail and amazing camoflage!

  2. dreamfalconon 13 Jul 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Fantastic picture!

  3. Barb Simonon 15 Jul 2009 at 10:18 am

    Nighthawks fly around West Penn hospital at night. (In Pittsburgh, in the Bloomfield neighborhood). There is a copper dome on the hospital and it is floodlit all night and the nighthawks fly in the floodlight catching bugs in flight. They are about the size of pigeons but have narrower wings and a really distinctive broad white stripe across the underside of each wing. I had to lie on a park bench and watch – looking upward – with my field glasses to figure out what these birds were, but now that I know – that broad white stripe is my key identifying factor – that and that they are flying around at night.

  4. Tracion 15 Jul 2009 at 10:13 pm

    I live down the street from the new Children’s Hospital. I’ve lived here for 11 years. Every night at dusk in the Summer, about 8:30pm – I see what I thought were bats, circling…almost dancing in the air. My son and I would lie in the yard and watch them.
    Now that I have binoculars, I know they are not bats. But for the past few nights, I have watched and I can’t see the white strip on the underside of their wings!! They fly very high and fast…I can track them; usually in groups, but I just can’t see them in detail.

    Is there another type of bird that would swoop in circles around that time? I should mention that they chirp and sing as they do their dusk-dance.

    I’m hoping they are nighthawks. I’d like to think that they have several nesting places in the Allegheny Cemetary; with all its tombs and such. But if they aren’t nighthawks – what else could they be??

  5. Kate St. Johnon 16 Jul 2009 at 6:19 am

    If the sound they were making was like a “chitter,” they were chimney swifts. Chimney swifts are all dark and look like cigars with wings. They flap very fast and their wings look out of sync sometimes – as if one wing is down while the other is up.

  6. Tracion 16 Jul 2009 at 8:44 am

    Yep!! I looked up chimney swift on Google for images and sure enough! That’s what they are!! Thanks!! I see from the Google search, that they are also in decline, mostly due to alterations in how chimneys are made.

    I may have to walk up to West Penn at dusk to actually see the Nighthawks.

    Thanks Kate! Mystery solved!!

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