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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Baby Nighthawk Hors D'oeuvres?

Pennsylvania Game Commission biologist Tim Hoppe has been studying roof-nesting Common Nighthawks for the last couple of years in and around Erie, PA. Of the four rooftop nests he found last year, none were successful--all babies disappeared from their roof gravel nests soon after they hatched. We don't know yet what is taking the babies, but crows may be the culprits. Further studies are needed to figure out what is taking these baby birds, and if this is a significant problem for these birds across their range. Nighthawks have declined in numbers by 51 percent over the last 40 years. For more info on how Tim and other biologists are trying to help nighthawks, see Audubon Birdscapes.

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