Common Nighthawks (Chordeiles minor) Can Take Off from Water

Liam P. McGuire, R. Mark Brigham


Common Nighthawks (Chordeiles minor) are aerial insectivores that often forage over water, at high speeds, and sometimes at high densities. Foraging nighthawks have regularly been observed flying < 1 m from the surface of water. under these circumstances, navigation errors or mid-air collisions could result in birds falling into the water, with the risk of drowning. We report two observations of Common Nighthawks that fell into a river and were able to take off from the surface of the water easily without any noticeable detrimental effects.


Common Nighthawk; Chordeiles minor; foraging behaviour; flight ability

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