Date: 5/20/20 7:19 am
From: Christopher Hill (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Re: no more nighthawks
Kevin,

I’m no nighthawk expert, but it seems much more likely you saw an adult doing a distraction display than a juvenile (why would a juvenile do that? But adult ground nesters of many groups do distraction displays.).

I think sandy areas whether associated with coastal dunes or open longleaf are native nesting habitats here. Gravel rooftops are manmade substitutes for bare sand, for nighthawks and least terns and kildeer and, in Great Britain, Oystercatchers. Those three habitats are where I hear and see nighthawks (urban places with gravel roofs, coastal islands, occasionally in longleaf).

Chris Hill
Conway, SC
On May 20, 2020, at 10:14 AM, Kevin Kubach <kmkubach...><mailto:<kmkubach...>> wrote:


CAUTION: This email originated from outside your organization. Exercise caution when opening attachments or clicking links, especially from unknown senders.

Chris et al.,

Thanks for this interesting discussion on Nighthawks. I don't have extensive experience with them, but I wanted to share an observation. On the several occasions I have visited the Aiken Gopher Tortoise Heritage Preserve in Aiken Co., SC (at various times from spring through summer), I have seen multiple Nighthawks in various phases of their breeding cycle. This is a tract managed for what I would describe as a longleaf pine "scrubland"--not the classic longleaf-wiregrass savanna, but open longleaf with a scrubbier, sandier floor. It still supports Red-cockaded Woodpeckers and Bachman's Sparrows--the longleaf associates. Nighthawks seem to thrive there. Last week I observed an adult pair with what appeared to be a juvenile (I would appreciate any thoughts based on the photos and observations as described in my checklist, here: https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://ebird.org/checklist/S68992572__;!!OToaGQ!7OaV-KeukPKvhG2Wcsi9LULizbCvumVWE_qMDY7QY4WJuyT7GWdd_B9mcmiLYcR23oc$ <https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://nam03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https*3A*2F*2Febird.org*2Fchecklist*2FS68992572&data=02*7C01*7Cchill*40coastal.edu*7C914e31a66a404e5f652308d7fcc8036e*7Cbf1f856b8ef84e52be9387d3c3622797*7C0*7C0*7C637255808294853142&sdata=JG86FItuZeB8tFBCEdLZXZ82*2Fv8oO0ndEUCcJxFeEO4*3D&reserved=0__;JSUlJSUlJSUlJSUlJSUl!!OToaGQ!7OaV-KeukPKvhG2Wcsi9LULizbCvumVWE_qMDY7QY4WJuyT7GWdd_B9mcmiLyExoEu0$ >).

Are Nighthawks perhaps one of the many species dependent in part, in the southeast, on the open landscapes provided by longleaf savannas, which we all know have been reduced to a tiny fraction of their previous extent?

Kevin Kubach
Greenville, SC

On Wed, May 20, 2020 at 9:47 AM Parkin Hunter <carolinabirds...><mailto:<carolinabirds...>> wrote:
I have been wondering about the loss of rock roofs also. There are almost none at Garden City now. When my father built my house in 1962 they were everywhere (I am an offender.) The dock next to me had a flat, rock roof that the birds used to break things open. Gone now.

Parkin Hunter

Sent from my iPad

> On May 20, 2020, at 9:18 AM, Christopher Hill (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...><mailto:<carolinabirds...>> wrote:
>
> I’ve been living in Conway, SC near Coastal Carolina University since 1999 and every spring the nighthawks come back, and by late April, when I take my ornithology class on an all day field trip, I always hear the nighthawks calling over campus as I wait for the students to show up for the 7 am van ride to the coast. In the evenings I hear them over our house and when we go for walks, and at the local Food Lion parking lot. But not this year. They never showed up, for the first time I can remember. Maybe it’s that a gravel rooftop they nested on was upgraded to rubber membrane and they couldn’t find a nearby replacement, or maybe it’s a small local piece of the overall decline in nightjars and in aerial insectivores generally, but even though I’m not yet sure it’s a permanent, I thought I would note the disappearance here.
>
> Chris Hill
> Conway, SC


 
Join us on Facebook!