Lesser Night-hawk

Chordeiles acutipennis

Lesser Night-hawk, Chordeiles acutipennis, photo © by Jack N.

This Lesser Night Hawk was resting in the shade during the heat of the day near Goodyear, Arizona, USA. Photo by Jack N. in August 2010.

Lesser Night Hawks are common birds in the Sonoran Desert but are infrequently seen except by people out and about in the evening or early dawn. Look for them especially above gardens, canals, golf courses, and lighted areas where they deftly swoop and dive to catch night-flying insects. The long pointed wings have a white band out near the tip of the wing and the birds also have a long tail that aids their acrobatic maneuvers.

By day these birds rest and sleep in the shade. Their plumage is of mottled earthen tones that allow them to hide in plain site by remaining motionless. Their resting spots are typically on the ground, but within the cities they sometimes use flat rooves of buildings.

Part Year Resident - Most Birds Migrate South for Winter

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More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 4 Nov. 2010.