Monday, August 25, 2014

Nighthawks

Forget those boring old day hawks - we have nighthawks!

Christo the red-tailed hawk has been making a habit of roosting in a tree in the SW corner of Tompkins Square Park for the last couple weeks, so I sat on a bench nearby this evening to wait for him to show up.  While waiting, I saw what I thought were swifts and swallows flitting around about 20 feet above my head.  After seeing a bat in the same spot last week, I decided to try and capture these fast insectivores.

Upon closer inspection, I realized these weren't swifts, but nighthawks.  And they were accompanied by dragonflies.

Nighthawk

I think this might be a female...

Nighthawk

Nighthawk

These birds are extremely quick and hard to catch with the camera in the semi-dark...

Nighthawks

Next time you're in the park at dusk, look up and see these birds zipping around, and be glad to know each one is capable of eating 500 mosquitoes in a single day.

See more photos here.