Friday, June 6, 2014

A new surprise visitor!

Common Nighthawk
(Chordeiles minor)

Shekinah Photography by Kathleen Bowman: Birds &emdash; Common Nighthawk

I had a new surprise visitor to my backyard yesterday.  I love it when a bird visits my yard that's never done so before.

At first glance, with one of the boards on my trellis in the way, I thought it was a young robin (since we have a robin family with two newer fledglings right now).  When I could see the bird in the clearing, I realized it didn't look at all like a young robin.  The beak was SO small!  Then I notice all the other markings, like the  heavy horizontal bars on it's lower breast.  This was a bird I had read about in my bird books, but never actually seen.  The name, containing the word common, suggests that it is easy to find, right? Well, I've read that the numbers have declined overall, but I've heard from someone local, that they are coming back. 

Ironically, the Common Nighthawk is neither common, nor a hawk.  It does however become more active in the early morning and evening, so at least there's that part of it's name that rings true. :)  I have something in common with this bird.  As a photographer, when in the field, I too am most active in the early morning and early evening hours.  After all, that is when the lighting is best for gorgeous outdoor images.  In photography, this time period is know as the golden hour (sometimes known as the magic hour, especially in cinematography). It is a period shortly after sunrise or before sunset during which daylight is redder and softer compared to when the sun is higher in the sky.

If you're a birder and have more than my limited knowledge as a beginner, please comment and tell me what you can about this bird and it's numbers here, in SW Idaho.  Whatever the numbers are, I sure enjoyed the time this bird spent in our yard and I hope to see more of them in the future.

Here is a list of the birds I observed and identified in my backyard yesterday, June 5th, 2014:
Common Nighthawk, European Starling, House Sparrow, American Robin, House Finch, American Goldfinch, Eurasian Collared Dove, Mourning Dove, Red-winged Black Bird, Hummingbirds. (at least Black-chinned, perhaps others)

For more information about this bird, CLICK HERE.

If you'd be so kind as to vote for my birds of prey images, you can find the info and links HERE, or just go to the previous post, 2014 Birds of Prey Photo Competition.  Thank you!

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