The common nighthawk (Chordeiles minor) is a medium-sized crepuscular or nocturnal bird within the nightjar family, whose presence and identity are best revealed by its vocalization. Typically dark (grey, black and brown), displaying cryptic colouration and intricate patterns, this bird is difficult to spot with the naked eye during the day. Once aerial, with its buoyant but erratic flight, this bird is most conspicuous. The most remarkable feature of this aerial insectivore is its small beak that belies the massiveness of its mouth. Some claim appearance similarities to owls. With its horizontal stance and short legs, the common nighthawk does not travel frequently on the ground, instead preferring to perch horizontally, parallel to branches, on posts, on the ground or on a roof. The males of this species may roost together but the bird is primarily solitary. The common nighthawk shows variability in territory size.

This caprimulguid has a large, flattened head with large eyes; facially it lacks rictal bristles. The common nighthawk has long slender wings that at rest extend beyond a notched tail. There is noticeable barring on the sides and abdomen, also white wing-patches.

The common nighthawk measures 22 to 25 cm (8.7 to 9.8 in) long, displays a wing span of 51 to 61 cm (20 to 24 in) weighs 55 to 98 g (1.9 to 3.5 oz), and has a life span of 4 to 5 years.
Common Nighthawk
Date Location Count
2019-10-15 18:25Piedmont Virginia Community College1
2019-10-13 13:43Cape Island--CMPSP--Hawkwatch Platform1
2019-10-13 13:00Cape Island--Cape May Point SP (CMPSP)1
2019-10-12 16:56Cape Island--South Cape May Meadows (SCMM)1
2019-10-13 07:00Fort Tilden--Battery Harris Platform1
2019-10-13 06:45Fort Tilden1
2019-10-12 05:05Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area--Force Rd. West1
2019-10-18 18:34Big Creek Reservation--Lake Abram1
2019-10-13 12:00Stewart B. McKinney NWR--Salt Meadow Unit1
2019-10-10 16:12Warren Wilson College--Owen Park2
2019-10-13 16:17Millennium Park1
2019-10-18 17:34Lake Conestee Nature Park1
2019-10-22 16:24Santee Coastal Reserve (fall and winter restricted access)2
2019-10-15 08:42Harrods Creek Park1
2019-10-22 06:50Kiawah Island Banding Station - Restricted Access1
2019-10-20 07:40Busey Woods, Urbana1
2019-10-14 18:00Cheaha SP2
2019-10-14 09:06Forest Beach Migratory Preserve--Northeast (OWLT)1
2019-10-17 19:54Lakebottom Park3
2019-10-12 07:10Eufaula NWR--Houston/Upland Units1
2019-10-11 17:52Sweetwater Wetlands Park6
2019-10-19 15:14Ensley Bottoms--Maxson Wastewater Lagoons (The Pits)/Earth Complex3
2019-10-10 18:34Lake Jesup Conservation Area--North Tract1
2019-10-17 18:15Polk County Government Services Center1
2019-10-20 07:17John Chesnut Sr. Park1
2019-10-20 14:15Ross Barnett Reservoir--Madison County1
2019-10-10 16:20MacDill AFB (restricted access)1
2019-10-17 17:15Largo Central Park Nature Preserve3
2019-10-19 17:40Sawgrass Lake Park1
2019-10-14 17:47Petal River Park1
2019-10-12 06:40Riverview Cemetery1
2019-10-20 16:40Fort De Soto Park1
2019-10-19 17:48Pascagoula Greenwood Cemetery1
2019-10-09 18:54Knoop Park1
2019-10-20 17:00Broodmoor Lake1
2019-10-22 19:07Celery Fields1
2019-10-09 18:08East River Valley Park 1
2019-10-14 09:30Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park1
2019-10-19 15:10Seacrest Scrub Natural Area1
2019-10-22 06:45Harns Marsh1
2019-10-17 16:12Dave and Tammy's House (Restricted Access)2
2019-10-10 14:45Mapleview Park1
2019-10-16 06:45City Park--Wisner Tract (Old East Golf Course)4
2019-10-15 16:16Prairie Center1
2019-10-09 18:37Kill Creek Park2
2019-10-22 18:30University Lakes1
2019-10-14 08:54Baker Wetlands--Central1
2019-10-18 18:30Red River NWR3
2019-10-18 08:24Curry Hammock SP--FL Keys Hawkwatch3
2019-10-22 18:17Charles "Sonny" McCoy Indigenous Park1
2019-10-09 18:36Couch Park1
2019-10-19 17:11Peveto Woods - Baton Rouge Audubon Society Sanctuary1
2019-10-17 14:20Tishomingo NWR--Headquarters3
2019-10-19 07:01Sabine Woods (UTC 026)1
2019-10-12 18:27Sea Rim SP (UTC 027)1
2019-10-19 14:00Richland Creek WMA (N. Unit)(Freestone Co.)1
2019-10-14 17:01Salt Plains NWR--Eagle Roost Nature Trail1
2019-10-14 18:28Wilson SP--Otoe Area1
2019-10-13 17:24Quivira NWR--Big Salt Marsh1
2019-10-09 18:24KDWPT Headquarters9
2019-10-10 07:15Challenger 7 Memorial Park (UTC 084)1
2019-10-14 22:08Texas A&M University main campus3
2019-10-09 19:15Stafford- Purple Martin Roost (Fountains area)1
2019-10-18 10:10Hornsby Bend (HOTE 037)1
2019-10-11 19:23Shoal Creek, Austin4
2019-10-14 18:35Southpark Meadows Ctr., Austin2
2019-10-16 07:11Kerrville--River Trail1
2019-10-16 08:31Corpus Christi--Pollywog Pond (CTC 077)1
2019-10-12 17:16Laguna Atascosa NWR--HQ and Kiskadee Trail4
2019-10-18 10:00Laguna Atascosa NWR (LTC 024)1
2019-10-11 07:36Melrose Woods1
2019-10-17 08:16Salineño Wildlife Preserve--DeWind's Yard2
2019-10-16 16:17Cherry Creek SP--Pelican Point area1
2019-10-13 16:29Chatfield SP--Original Heronry Overlook1
2019-10-11 11:28Lake Creek Village Wetlands1
2019-10-19 05:26Rio Maya Road2
2019-10-16 08:00Mountain Pine Ridge--Hidden Valley3
2019-10-12 16:59Wilson Landing Road3
2019-10-21 17:18Cattle Landing--waterfront6
2019-10-15 16:30Hopeville1
2019-10-19 17:00Hickatee Cottages and Boom Creek Road1
2019-10-12 09:32Chichicaxtle--Observatorio de Aves Rapaces Dr. Mario A. Ramos1
2019-10-11 14:20Rexburg (Town)1
2019-10-19 07:41Parque Estatal Cerro Punhuato1
2019-10-12 15:27RNA El Dorado--Lodge1
2019-10-18 16:47Camino de lastre que va hacia Mirador Predas y Yatama Lodge1
2019-10-21 10:37Las Arrieras Bird Observatory1
2019-10-15 07:30PN Cahuita--Puerto Vargas1
2019-10-14 14:53Manzanillo--Town2
2019-10-19 00:03Karen Mogensen Reserve1
2019-10-13 06:25PN San Lorenzo--Gatún Dam & Chagres River21
2019-10-22 08:30Pipeline Road (Camino del Oleoducto) General area1
2019-10-22 09:31Pipeline Road5
2019-10-13 05:49Panama Rainforest Discovery Center1
2019-10-22 15:20Gamboa Rainforest Resort2
2019-10-12 15:26Ammo Dump Ponds1
2019-10-13 17:26Gamboa Rainforest Resort--marina7
2019-10-17 13:00Cayo Zapatillas #2200
2019-10-15 16:48Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge1
2019-10-19 17:42Rinconcito de Macca Bite (original)26
2019-10-18 10:00Canopy Tower12
2019-10-22 16:00Summit Ponds5
2019-10-22 07:33Cerro Ancón--estación de conteo de rapaces30
2019-10-11 15:10Ojochal2
2019-10-16 16:26Camino a El Salto6
2019-10-16 06:33Río Chucunaque2
2019-10-11 15:30Parque Carepa Tulenapa9
2019-10-10 17:30Twin Bridges1
2019-10-16 17:45RN San Sebastián de La Castellana3
2019-10-19 06:30Canal Boyacá1
2019-10-19 05:00Laguna de Taracoa1
2019-10-13 10:30River Maine in Galgorm1