Common nighthawk Facts

Common nighthawk Facts
Common nighthawk is medium-sized bird that belongs to the nightjar family. There are 9 subspecies of common nighthawk that can be found in North America. Common nighthawk inhabits coastal areas, logged forests, plains, grasslands, marshes, river valleys and rocky outcrops. These birds exist on the planet at least 400.000 years. Habitat loss, lack of prey and accidental collisions with vehicles are the greatest threats for their survival in the wild. Despite these factors, common nighthawks are still numerous and widespread in the wild.
Interesting Common nighthawk Facts:
Common nighthawk can reach 8.7 to 9.4 inches in length and 2.3 to 3.5 ounces of weigh.
Common nighthawk has dark brown, grey or black body, white throat and mottled breasts. Wings are dark grey colored and covered with white bars.
Common nighthawk has short, slightly hooked bill, short legs with small feet, long, pointed wings and forked tail.
Common nighthawk has wingspan of 20.9 to 22.4 inches. It is well known for its erratic, bat-like flying technique. It performs graceful loops and frequently changes direction of flight. Common nighthawk abruptly dives toward the females and intruders. Dives are followed with racecar-like, whooshing sound.
Common nighthawk is active at dusk and dawn (crepuscular animal).
Common nighthawk is a carnivore (meat-eater). Its diet is based on insects such as ants, wasps, beetles, moths, flies, crickets and grasshoppers. Common nighthawk collects food near the surface of the ground and water or high in the air (500 feet off the ground). It can consume 500 mosquitoes per day.
Despite its name, common nighthawk is not closely related to hawks. Common nighthawk is also known as "goatsucker" due to widespread, but false myth, that it visits barns at night to suckle goat's milk.
Natural enemies of common nighthawks are raccoons, opossums, skunks, cats, golden eagles, peregrine falcons and great horned owls.
Common nighthawks gather in large flocks and travel 1.600 to 4.200 miles toward the wintering grounds in South America.
Common nighthawks produce sharp, electric calls and booming sounds during the courtship.
Mating season of common nighthawks takes place from March to October.
Common nighthawks lay eggs directly on the sandy, gravelly or rocky ground covered with leaves, pieces of wood, moss or lichen. They often nest on the gravelly roofs.
Common nighthawks produce one or two broods per season. Female lays 2 eggs that hatch after 16 to 20 days. Only female takes part in the incubation of eggs
Common nighthawks are active from the moment of birth. They are rarely seen in the wild due to well camouflaged plumage. Both parents provide food for their chicks. Young common nighthawks learn to fly at the age of 18 days.
Common nighthawk can survive up to 10 years in the wild (4 to 5 years on average).

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