News & Events

Nighthawk Migration Watch 2023

The Common Nighthawk nesting season is wrapping up and it has been a challenging one for the nighthawks and the watchers due to the rainy weather. We are compiling the season’s results, but now it is time to watch for migration. Nighthawks migrate during a very short period from mid-August through the first week of September. They often migrate in flocks that can range from just a few birds to 100 or more. On big nights there can be thousands of nighthawks, typically over major river valleys. They are usually seen in early evening, often feeding on a swarm of ants (they eat insects exclusively) as they move south. They are headed to South America where they spend the winter. A nighthawk watch, let by volunteer Zeke Cornell, is held in Concord, NH on the roof of the Capitol Commons Parking Garage on Storrs Street every evening (except in bad weather) from mid-August into the first week of September. Numbers of migrating nighthawks are tallied from 5:30 pm to about 7:30 pm. Visitors are welcome.

Nighthawk watchers helping volunteer site leader Zeke Cornell (left) tally migrating Nighthawks in Concord during an August evening in 2022 (Rebecca Suomala).