Date: 6/27/18 6:51 am From: Kate StJohn <0000000f59b962a9-dmarc-request...> Subject: Re: Pittsburghers: Looking to team up for Nightjar Survey
On Monday night 6/25, four of us ran nightjar survey routes in urban Pittsburgh beginning 1/2 hour after sunset (9:24pm) and lasting until nearly midnight. The routes are 9 miles long with 10 stops (includes starting point). Each stop is 1 mile apart. I made sure my stops were 1 air-mile apart rather than a road-mile since you can drive a mile here and end up very close to where you began.
Michelle Kienholz & I counted 11 nighthawks on a route in Pittsburgh's East End. See route and data here: Route: Pittsburgh East End
Scott Kinzey and Jay Kadane counted 10 nighthawks on a route along the Allegheny River that included, North Side, Strip District and Lawrenceville.
Traffic noise was a problem at some of the stops.
Some sites were surprisingly disappointing with no nighthawks at all. Sometimes it was lack of habitat but sometimes it was a matter of timing. In my neighborhood the nighthawks are most active about 15 mins before&after sunset but the count protocol didn't allow us to start counting until 30 mins after sunset. Thus we had a low count here in Greenfield where I heard/saw at least 2 nighthawks only minutes before the survey began.
My best experience was at our last stop on South Side at nearly midnight. In the Rite Aid parking lot at S.23rd St the light poles are relatively low and the lights quite bright. We could see big bugs, some like mayflies, floating in the light. Michelle and I heard nothing in the first minute and thought we were going to strike out. Then a nighthawk suddenly passed loudly -- and unseen -- over our heads. Quite close! Right after that we heard the second bird.
Kate St. John, Pittsburgh
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