They aren’t hawks, but they are insect-eating superheroes that swoop over cities, fields, woodlands, and deserts, sucking up flying ants, flies, leaf chafers, mosquitoes, moths, and grasshoppers. Nighthawks even eat Colorado potato beetles, cucumber beetles, and squash bugs!
Although there isn’t much you can do to attract nighthawks (they don’t build nests), you can be on the lookout for their eggs and be careful not to harm them. Look for one to three whitish olive eggs with dark blotches on sandy soil (sometimes at the base of a shrub), on gravel (especially on rooftops), on a stump, or in an old robin’s nest. Their breeding range extends from the southern Yukon to southern California down to Honduras and Nicaragua.
Photo: (cc) Alan Vernon/Flickr