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 - 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".