Last Saturday we were banding birds at our study area in a rather narrow riparian area surrounded by native prairie. About mid-morning the skies above the riparian area were filled with Common Nighthawks foraging about 60 feet above the ground. They appeared to be concentrating on insects flying just above the canopy of the green ash trees but the would occasionally venture out over the open grassland near was standing and where I was able to get a clear view of the birds as they flew by.
These are one of the last species to arrive in the spring and the first to leave in the fall. Despite being so common in the area, we have yet to catch one in the nets, which is really not surprising given where they spend their time and where are nets are.
We did catch one rather exciting bird last Saturday. It was a House Wren that was one of the most tangled birds I have dealt with in a long time. The exciting part was that is was our first recapture of a bird from our initial banding effort in the area two years ago.