At 12:31 AM 2/15/01 -0500, speedyg wrote:
>Sitting here tonight with the window open, about 11:30PM (Wednesday, 2-14),
>we heard a Common Nighthawk making several passes through our front yard.
>The call was exactly as described in the Sibley guide.  It seems very
>early... perhaps another indication of an early spring? :)
>S.P. MacCumhail
>Crawfordville, FL

I heard a Common Nighthawk over Crawfordville (Wakulla Co.) as late as 31
OCT 00, and several times in October.  This was over the eternally lit area
of the Winn-Dixie Grocery store.  This bird may have spent the winter.  At
least two of my staked out Whip-poor-wills have stayed during this cold
winter.  I also had a brief appearance of one on 12 Nov 00 here at Bald Pt.
(Franklin Co.), but it was not noticed again.

Kristi Avera and I flushed up a nighthawk from the highway in Palm Beach
Co. on 3 Feb 01, and furthermore Kristi was pretty sure she heard a Common
Nighthawk in Chiefland (Levy Co.) on 5 Feb 01.

Incidentally, one was reported calling at night in Illinois recently!

It is not unheard of for Common Nighthawks to spend winters over towns in
FL, although it is quite noteworthy.  I have heard them over St. Petersburg
and Arcadia in the past.

Then again, with the warmer days recently, some birds may have started
working their way back north.  Pretty hard to tell when they haven't been
seen or heard in between fall and now.

Care must be taken not to confuse this species' calls with those of the
more expected species--Woodcock.

Jack Dozier
Alligator Pt., FL
[log in to unmask]