A Quest My Good Man

I think I have been very good not using Monty Python references in this blog. If you are even a small fan of Monty Python you know you can reference anything to their skits. Today though I say the heck with it. I’m on a Common Nighthawk Quest.

That’s right my good man. A quest for Common Nighthawks.

OK. No more Monty Python in case you don’t get the reference.

CONI 090111 Common Nighthawk
On a country road in Illinois I came across a small flock of Common Nighthawks foraging. They would fly from field to field over road. LaSalle County IL 9/1/11

After whiffing on the EASTERN WHIP-POOR-WILLS I got thinking about Common Nighthawks. I don’t have a “go to” location in Johnson County for nighthawks and that bothers me.

I have participated in 3 IAS Summer Counts and have only seen 1 nighthawk on those counts. This seems strange because the little town we lived in Illinois had three locations.

  1. The old Kmart plaza built-in the 1960’s.
  2. The High School that is 80 years old.
  3. Over some old buildings in the small downtown

What do these three locations have in common? Old, GRAVEL, flat roofs. The kind nighthawks LIKE to nest.

And what does my new, urban environment have? Lots of new, RUBBER, flat roofs. The kind nighthawks DON’T LIKE.

It’s no wonder Common Nighthawks are on the decline. Not enough to be on a watch list but enough to be concerned. One thought is the change from the flat, gravel roofs to the rubber roofs.

CONI'S 090111 A Quest
I wish I would have had the new camera for this encounter. LaSalle County IL 9/1/11

I will now to turn my quest to the “older” section of Greenwood versus the newer area I usually bird. There are some old strip malls and an old Kmart that might proof fruitful. I’ll also check the two small towns that have limited downtown areas but might have gravel roofs.

So for fun, one more Monty Python reference.

Bridgekeeper: What… is your quest?

Sir Lancelot: To seek the Holy Grail Common Nighthawk.

I’m sure I’ll let you know if I succeed in my quest. My good man.

One Reply to “A Quest My Good Man”

  1. One of my favorite bird encounters is going for an early morning run and getting dive-bombed by CONO at College & Kessler in Indianapolis. Had I not ducked it would have smacked me in the head. Good luck on your quest, and I hope you bring back a nighthawk that looks nice and is not too expensive.

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