Monday, July 30, 2012

Nighthawk Draught

This summer has been a hot one and in northern Illinois we are feeling it pretty strong in terms of drought. Our corn crop looks pretty pathetic but I still hold out hope that most of it will pull through.

Another drought I've experienced first hand this year is that of Common Nighthawks.

As in, I haven't seen a single one yet!

Last year during many summer evenings when I was at a baseball game or just walking around downtown Sycamore, I would often hear the tell-tale sound from the fascinating nighthawk.


Not this year.

I wonder what the deal is. Has the drought effected their food supply? It has been less buggy by my account but I've seen plenty of other insectivores.

Am I not out enough in the evenings and have just missed them? Likely.

Common Nighthawk

Common Nighthawk - taken in 2007

Despite the lack of Common Nighthawks I did have the pleasure of hearing a Whip-poor-will while on a backpacking/camping trip with my nephew, marking bird #173 for the year.

Not too bad of a number considering I've been birding casually at best (although a winter trip to Florida helped!).

Some more information on the Common Nighthawk from Cornell's "All About Birds".


  1. If you are ever near Purdue University, swing on by and you are sure to hear and see them everywhere!

  2. I have yet to see a Common Nighthawk. I'm curious if others have had fewer sightings. I hope you spot one sometime this summer. Fingers crossed!

  3. I have seen very few Common Nighthawks this year compared to last. Not seeing them has made me wonder where they are.