Date: 5/20/20 9:35 am
From: Norman Budnitz (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Re: no more nighthawks
Birds of the World has this to say about distraction displays for Common

Seven types of responses described for distraction displays of an
individual when flushed from the nest (Gramza 1967
<*REF8056__;Iw!!OToaGQ!7kytXb4LAgiPp6KCiXjB7o3JEPmqXBiRU8VLYEZXxlS9rp9OKzs58Qjel0w1qT1Vtp8$ >):
leaves field of vision, flies about nest area, settles in sight of
intruder, settles in sight of intruder and droops wings, settles in sight
of intruder and holds wings outstretched, settles in sight with
outstretched wings and lunges toward intruder, or does not flush (*n* = 11
nests). Shortest flushing distances and responses of maximum
conspicuousness occur at and shortly after hatching. Brooding birds flush
toward and settle in areas to sides of and behind intruder. Parents do not
flush easily (2–4 m; RMB), probably relying on cryptic coloration to elude

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On Wed, May 20, 2020 at 10:14 AM Kevin Kubach <carolinabirds...>

> 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:
> <;!!OToaGQ!4pHgrIRmv6oBlkAvLKaPcON0kASj7DDCKvjbOec_qml1w1eOXTGzyctDF3OIDAvPEUI$>
> ).
> 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...>
> 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...> 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

Norm Budnitz
Orange County
North Carolina

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