One of my favorite bird bloggers, Robert Mortensen, taped a “death-defying” announcement of the ABA’s decision to name the Common Nighthawk the bird of the year for 2013:
“We nighthawks are dynamic and mysterious, inevitably capturing attention and curiosity as we dive and swoop over open country and high above the roof tops of even the largest cities…” intones the Common Nighthawk (AKA Mortensen).
If you would like to learn more about the Common Nighthawk and other birds like it, check out Nightjars, Potoos, Frogmouths, Oilbird and Owlet-nightjars of the World by Nigel Cleere.
To learn more about the Bird of the Year program, please visit the ABA’s site. They’ve posted some nifty facts about the Common Nighthawk including this tidbit: “The display flights of male Common Nighthawks end with a distinctive “boom” at the bottom of their dive – a loud sound produced by air rushing through the nighthawk’s wing feathers. ”
Also, though their name would indicate otherwise, these birds are not raptors. The ABA notes, “The name ‘nighthawk’ refers to the nocturnal or crepuscular habits of the bird and its long-winged, falcon-like shape.”