[Tweeters] Nighthawk Memories

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Sun Jun 19 11:05:51 PDT 2016

I was thrilled to read that Nighthawks are alive and well in Yakima Canyon thanks to a recent tweeter post from somebody, whose post I deleted, so I forgot your name. Thanks.
Anyhoo, like many of you posting about Nighthawks (one of the coolest birds ever invented) I have my own memories. I was born and attempted to grow up in Seattle, and remember Nighthawks in town back in the late 60's and in the 70's. My favorite Seattle Nighthawk memory was seeing several on one rare Seattle hot summer night, nabbing bugs under the streetlights on First Avenue at the Pike Place Market, with hoards of pedestrian humans crowding the sidewalks just below. Hard to say how many of those folks even noticed, but a few might have - the Nighthawks were calling loudly, the sound carrying even over all the First Avenue traffic.
As a kid birdwatcher I defined Summer, not by school letting out for Summer, but by hearing my first Nighthawk of the year - typically the first week of June. Hear a Nighthawk and Summer has begun.
I was also lucky to have spent many childhood days in Conconully WA, and at Wildberry Lake on the Tahuya Peninsula (inside the "hook" of Hood Canal - both good Nighthawk spots at the time (still back in the 60's and 70's). In those places it was great to hear not only the 'peenting' call of the bird, but also the "bullbat" (a great colloquial name) which is when the male Nighthawk wing-brakes coming out of a territorial power dive and produces that deep thrum. Since cows and frogs don't fly, if you hear a bull-like sound in the sky it's most likely a Nighthawk.
Nighthawks are evidently in a bit of trouble , which is sort of sad. A world with more Nighthawks would be a better place, or so it seems to me.
Jeff GibsonMemory Lane, Wa

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