Common Nighthawk by destabee
I hear a faint nasal “peent” noise above the din of cricket calls along the
Tom Gagnon has been watching the nighthawk migration along the Connecticut River near
The Vermont Breeding Bird Atlas is showing a drastic decline in breeding nighthawks in
While ornithologists don’t know what is causing this drastic population decline, there are several good hypotheses. Sometime around 1900 nighthawks began to nest on gravel rooftops in urban areas. They have almost disappeared from many of these cities. This may be due to rising populations of crows or other predators such as cats, rats and raccoons. Many roof tops are no longer gravel, but are rubber. Pesticide use could have reduced insect populations or poison nighthawks. Natural nesting habitat has been greatly reduced in many areas. And finally, their migration takes them as far as
New Hampshire Audubon is trying to help nesting nighthawks in urban areas. They are laying patches of pea sized gravel on flat roof tops that are covered large stone or rubber in hopes of providing good nest sites once again. Hopefully research and management like this will help bring back the nighthawk to
Nighthawks are making their move now. On August 27 seven were seen on the Connecticut River near
Other Bird Highlights
Shorebirds continue to flood
Other highlights at Dead Creek included an early snow goose on the 22nd, three northern shovelers on the 20th and over 70 great blue herons. A possible Eurasian wigeon was seen by several birders along Dead Creek on August 18. Red-necked phalaropes were seen at Dead Creek on August 18 and Grand Isle on 25th.
A jaeger was observed off Grand Isle as well as two juvenile parasitic jaegers at
Tree Swallows are massing for migration. On August 24 there were over 400 at Herrick's Cove in Rockingham.
You can explore all the birds reported last week in