Monday, April 10, 2017

Nighthawk - varied

ABC Wednesday
April 12th, 2017

The letter is N for Nighthawk

Here, in town, I never see this bird
but my memories recall warm summer evenings on the farm
when a community of  Common Nighthawks would swoosh down 
the road and through the orchards, gathering up the evening insects 
with their white bars flashing as they flew in graceful loops,
their sharp peenot call echoing through the twilight.

So beautiful and impressive - they were a part of our life there.

The Common Nighthawks are slender birds with very long, pointed wings,
and medium long tails.
It is well camouflaged in gray, white, buff and back
with a V shaped white throat and striking white wing bars.

When migrating or feeding over insect-rich areas
nighthawks may gather in large flocks
as they did in our orchard territory.
They are most visible when they forage on the wing
and their call is unforgettable.
At least to me.....

Mostly they fly in the mornings and the evenings.
During the day they roost on a tree branch, a fence post,
or on the ground, where they are most difficult to see.

If they were to follow south along the road for a few
miles  they would cross the US/Canada border into Washington State
and do their wonderful acrobatics in the Ghost Town
of Nighthawk which I am sure was named after them.

It is Nighthawk country....

An old mining town from the early 1900's, - it still had a general store
in the 1950's and Charles was friends with the Storekeeper,
but since that time the buildings have fallen into sad disrepair
and as far as I know the surrounding ranchers do their shopping elsewhere.

We are not finished with Nighthawk...

There is a famous painting by Edward Hopper
depicting some night hawks (or owls)
gathered around a table in an all night diner....

and a couple of poems inspired by the painting.

All sorts of planes with Nighthawk attached to them.....

There are numerous (numerous!) bands called "Nighthawk"
but the one that I enjoyed most was a Dixie Land Band.

For more interesting Ns visit here at ABC Wednesday
with many thanks to those who maintain this meme.


The Weaver of Grass said...

Hildred, these photographs are just so very beautiful - thank you for posting them today, they have cheered me up.

Chip Butter said...

What a nice post. It is a reminder to be on the lookout for the Nighthawk. I also enjoyed your "ghost town" photos.

Leslie: said...

LOVE your photos of the old mining town. They really draw you in. And I've seen a photo of that piece of art before - I think from a friend who is really into art and paints with water colours at the moment. She's really up on famous artists!

abcw team

Roger Owen Green said...

I love raptors!

carol l mckenna said...

Wonderful post for N and lovely info and photos of the beautiful Nighthawk bird ~ thanks,

Wishing you a Happy Week ~ ^_^

Nora said...

I love these pictures. I have not seen a nighthawk.

Melody Steenkamp said...

Wonderful scenery.... and of birds, which I love most.. lovely n-post.

Have a nice ABC-day / -week
♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)

Luna Crone said...

Perhaps I have seen these birds, here... Groups of them, in the evening....

When I think 'hawk', I think of a bigger bird. But I take it for granted, these are not they.

Ghost town. Sad, but lovely, in its own way....

Happy Spring hugs,
Luna Crone

Goutami News said...

Though old,Very attractive they are.

Klara S said...

Very interesting post. Beautiful birds.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

When I was a little girl in Clarkston Washington, the nighthawks fascinated me -- they would fly (as you so beautifully described) every evening as we played outside after supper. But the only thing is, nobody could ever tell me what these birds were (Grownups in my world had no inclination to care about birds). (And though we read a lot, nobody ever suggested looking them up.) I forgot about caring about birds by the time I reached my teens, but their image stayed in the back of my brain for decades. Probably 40 plus years later Bill and I were hiking one evening in Central Oregon and I saw the swoop of birds with that distinctive under-wing white marking and I shouted 'that's them -- that's it!" (Certainly surprised everyone I was with.) Of course by then I had the books and internet and I was so thrilled to be able to learn all about these wonderful birds.

Thanks for the fun post and the memories! I suppose somewhere deep in the recesses of my consciousness this is the bird that sparked my interest in birding and nature.