Lesser Nighthawk


(Chordeiles acutipennis)

Besides other subtle differences, Lesser Nighthawk has the white bars on the wings closer to the wingtips than Common Nighthawk.  It also has a much more limited range, including only southern Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada, and portions of California. It typically takes flight just after sundown, but may be seen flying for an hour or two after sunrise.

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2 Responses to Lesser Nighthawk

  1. theysabet says:

    Just saw a Lesser Nighthawk two days ago (5/19/16) in early afternoon on top of the Sears Point Petroglyph Site ridge, a lava-rock escarpment near Gila Bend, AZ. I startled it from the deep cleft where it was sleeping; it looped around me for a few minutes making this sharp, short sort of ‘pee-ent’ cry, and then dropped down into the trees and vanished. Beautiful bird and easily identified.

    • john says:

      You have perfectly described the terse call of a Common Nighthawk. Lesser Nighthawk call is longer with a more whistling quality.

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