Tucson Wildlife Center

Rescue | Rehab | Release (520) 290-9453

Nighthawks and Poorwills are Here again

Sometimes we get in very interesting and unusual birds here at the Center.  Around this time of year this includes Nighthawks and poorwills, neither of which is a hawk at all! They are member of the Nightjar family, which get their name from their loud, “jarring” call. The most common injuries we see are hit by cars,as they swoop and glide around bright street lights.

Nighthawk
Nighthawk

These birds typically nest and roost on the ground,depending on their amazing camouflage to keep them safe. They are

Poorwill
Poorwill

nocturnal, but can be spotted near dusk,around street lamps, parks, fields, and other areas that attract a large amount of insects. The habit of hanging around fields etc earned them the name “Goat suckers” by superstitious farmers, who believed they were swooping down to drink milk from their goats and sheep. No milk for these guys! They are strictly insectivorous.They fly around with their huge mouths wide open,scooping up mass amounts of insects as they go. They can take in up to 2000 bugs in one feeding! So superstitions aside, they are great little birds to have around .Because of this specialized feeding method, they can be tricky to rehabilitate,although we have had a fair amount of success the past few years. If you happen to come across a sick or injured bird,or just have general questions or concerns,please give us a call at 290-wild(9453)

Say Ahhhh!
Say Ahhhh!

For help and emergencies, please immediately call our 24/7 helpline at (520) 290-9453.

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