[CT Birds] Nighthawks

Thu Aug 29 19:04:12 EDT 2013

8/29- New Milford & Kent; 25 COMMON NIGHTHAWKS along Rt. 7 between Gaylordsville and Bull's Bridge, just after 6 PM. Near the Housatonic River, but relatively high. Probably many more, but I was just driving through and counting what I could see through the trees.

A thought about Nighthawks: I have been fortunate enough to see four large (100 to 300) flocks of them over my thirty years in western CT. All of those sightings came around Labor Day on warm, muggy evenings, with heavy, still air. The insects were low to the ground, and the birds gathered in large numbers where the insects congregated. The first was along Rt. 67 in Southbury and Oxford, where they were low and feeding for what seemed like a couple of miles. The other sightings have been in fields along the Housatonic River here in Kent. The birds lazily move in, feeding silently for 10-20 minutes before the group moves on with no apparent signal or leader- mostly to the south, but one group disappeared to the north for a while. I followed one group through Kent, north to south, as it fed in at least three fields.
So it looks to me like the conditions might be right for large groups along the Housatonic this weekend. Now if I can only slip away in the evening.

John Johnson

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