Nighthawks – A Mother and Child


Today has been a drizzly day.  We started to the blind at San Angelo State Park, then thought better of it.  From the direction of the wind, I knew that the drizzly rain would be blowing right back into my lens.  Then, besides, we considered that the birds probably wouldn’t be very active.

So back to the house.  Rats!  Just couldn’t think of anything to write about so started browsing through my archives.  I came across these images that I had taken several years ago, long before I started shooting RAW.  The JPEG files looked good so I started editing them

But here is the story.  About 8:30AM one morning, I got a call from a lady that was opening up her store over near the Village Shopping Center.  She had parked in back of the building, and was going to enter her rear door.  As she walked up, she spotted to creatures on the ground near the structure.  She called me and asked me to come over and identify them.

As I drove up then, at first I couldn’t make out what they were from the car.  As I walked up, though, I recognized them immediately.  They were an adult Common Nighthawk and a young one. Nighthawks don’t nest in the usual sense.  They lay there eggs on the bare ground, usually in some pebbles, etc.  I suspect the nesting area of these two were nearby, at the base of the building wall somewhere.  But there was no way of knowing for sure.

I got my cameras out of the car and commenced trying to get photos.  At first, the chick skittered away from the mom.  I tried to keep a reasonable distance, as I could see he/she was getting stressed.  Finally, the mother moved back closer.  These are two of the many exposures I was to get.

Adult Common Nighthawk with chick

Adult Common Nighthawk with chick

Common Nighthawk chick

Common Nighthawk chick

I hope you enjoy this post and photos.  Ann and I are leaving Monday morning to go back to Fort Davis.  As you know, we tried this trip a couple of weeks ago, but had to return home after I had a medical problem.  Looking back, I believe that I had got bitten by some spider, etc., and had an allergic reaction.  But all is well now, and I hope to have success in getting some new photos of the birds from that area.  So I won’t be blogging until later in the week, probably around next Friday.

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14 thoughts on “Nighthawks – A Mother and Child

  1. Nighthawks are on that Audubon endangered list that has been getting press lately. Great shots, I don’t think i’ve seen a nighthawk that close – thanks for posting them, and have a great trip!

  2. Here in New Mexico they will fly right in front of your car at dusk while driving the backroads. It’s kinda freaky cause you think you are hitting them. I’ve gotten out to look and never do find any feather evidence tho, so I feel better and figure they must be attracted to the car lights. This experience was years ago but I still remember it well.

  3. I used to see them here in ne ohio every summer when I was a teen ager but now I have not seen them in years. it is like they vanished good to see they are still around. that comoflague can be a double edge sword for them, humans cannot see them and run them over or step on chicks and they are saved from predators. I know I had to be careful walking on the tracks in akron because the plovers would nest right in the middle of the tracks and I loved walking the tracks and had to be aware of when momma cries when I get to close.

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