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It's a Common Nighthawk!

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  • dawnhark
    Yes! It is a Common Nighthawk! Many thanks to everyone who helped me with this, both on and off list. Dawn Harkins, South Lake Tahoe, CA USA PS: I saw it at
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 8, 2002
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      Yes! It is a Common Nighthawk! Many thanks to everyone who helped me
      with this, both on and off list.

      Dawn Harkins, South Lake Tahoe, CA USA

      PS: I saw it at dusk, so crepuscular makes sense. And the tail only
      seemed short and small to me, I guess because I've been looking at
      ravens a lot, fascinating birds...

      --- In CALBIRDS@y..., "Patrick McNulty" <mcnulty-p@s...> wrote:
      >
      > Dawn,
      >
      > I'm not sure about the small short tail, but take a look at a
      Common Nighthawk in a Field Guide to Birds and see if that looks
      familiar.
      >
      > Patrick
      >
      > Patrick McNulty Phone: (805) 967-9900
      > Santa Barbara, CA E-Mail: mcnulty@g...
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > >>> "dawnhark" <dawnhark@y...> 7/7/02 11:24:59 AM >>>
      > Hi everyone, this is my first posting here. I hike a lot in the high
      > Sierra, Tahoe and Alpine County areas mostly. I am not a birder,
      but I
      > do look at and enjoy them when I see them!
      >
      > I saw a pair yesterday I'd like help with identifying. It was near
      > Silver Lake on Hwy 88, around 7000' elev (guessing). One of the pair
      > flew high and kept its distance, but the other was definitely
      > disturbed with me for being there. Probably a territory thing, or a
      > nest or chick was nearby.
      >
      > Now the hard part--how do I describe this bird!?!?! It was not a
      bird
      > I had seen (or noticed) before. It was a bit bigger than a jay, but
      > smaller than a redtail hawk--I think.
      >
      > The most noticeable marking was a white bar or band located on both
      > the top and the bottom of the wing, across the width of the wing,
      not
      > lengthwise, at about the middle of the wing.
      >
      > The tail was small and short, no flare. The wings were kind of
      > boomerang shaped--backswept--but I guess that's true of a LOT of
      > birds!! Umm...
      >
      > The bird was agressive and divebombed me many times. It had a very
      > streamlined look. There might also have been a black marking next to
      > the white bands, not sure--the overall color was neither dark nor
      > light, probably gray-ish, and there may have been a russet color
      onder
      > the wings.
      >
      > An acrobatic flyer, it seemed to me. The head looked small and the
      > beak did too, from what I could see as it flew around.
      >
      > The pair called back and forth repeatedly, a short cry, can't
      describe
      > it, sorry!!
      >
      > Can anyone help me identify this bird, or direct me to a good site
      > that can help? I just joined this group after spending an hour
      > floundering around on the Net, to no avail...
      >
      > Your advice and expertise are appreciated!
      >
      > Dawn, dying of curiosity
      >
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