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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects
Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor)
Common Nighthawk, Benson Pond, Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon
Photograph by Alan And Elaine Wilson. Some rights reserved. (view image details)
COMMON NIGHTHAWK FACTSDescription
Common Nighthawks are medium-sized birds with large mouths and large eyes. They are patterned with bars of browns, grays and white for good camouflage. The tail is notched tail and wings are long and pointed with white patches on the primary feathers. Males have a white band on the tail and white patch on the throat patch. Females have less white, no tail band and brown throat.
length 22cm - 24cm
coastal dunes, beaches, woodland, grasslands, savanna, sagebrush plains, open forests. farmland, urban areas.
insects which it catches in the air. The large eyes help them locate prey in the dark. They have good night vision, and have a similar mirror-like structure at the back of each eye to gather more light to the retina in the same way as owls.
Common nighthawks nest sites on the ground in open areas near long grass, shrubs, logs, or rocks. The nest are laid on the ground on sand, gravel, leaves, or rock. Lays a clutch of two eggs which hatch after incubation of 18-20 days. The eggs are pale, with gray, brown and black. blotches.
breeds throughout much of North America and parts of Central America.