Nature Journal
with Photos

Common Nighthawk Identification Tips
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)
General Information
- Very short bill
- Blackish upperparts with gray and white patterning
- Brown and white patterning on head and chest
- Underparts with heavy dark bars
- Dark wings with conspicuous pale patch midway
   out from bend in wing
- Dark tail with thin white bars

Adult male
- White throat

Adult female

- Buff throat

Similar species
Separated from all nightjars except nighthawks by the pale patch in the wing. Lesser Nighthawk is similar but tends to have its white patch farther out (2/3 of the way from the bend of the wing) its wing. Antillean nighthawk is somewhat buffier, but is probably not safely identified by sight in the field All three species are easily identified by call.
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