Day-flying Nighthawks

On Wednesday morning around a quarter to eleven, I happened to look outside and saw a small herd of Common Nighthawks passing by. There were nine of them! This was after I’d seen a Broad-winged Hawk overhead, the first time I’ve seen one of these long-distance migrants in Brooklyn. Good birds to see from the window, I must say.

I got into Green-Wood in the early afternoon. There was quite a bit of raptor activity, much of it in the distance. Silhouettes against a hazy sky. Spotted several kestrels, a few Accipiters, another Broad-wing Hawk, and a Northern Harrier. Other than at Floyd Bennett Field, where they’re winter visitors, I’ve only seen harriers flying over inland Brooklyn during fall migration.
And then I saw a nighthawk, with those long wings striped in white.

And then, last evening, starting about 5:45pm I saw four or so from my window again, this time hunting, flying back and forth, up and down, all around in the dimensions of the air. In five years of living here, I’ve only seen a nighthawk from my apartment once before this week.

Vote early. Here’s a state-by-state guide.

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