Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Nighthawk Update

Evening Nighthawk watching from High Ridge WMA in Westminster, Ma.

I have continued my sporatic autumn nighthawk coverage on a limited basis, results are fed into the, now expanding, SuAsCo nighthawk migration survey. This season's results from High Ridge are below:

Season toal 525

Below I have compiled some data from the Furbush Bird Club's annual publication "The Chickadee", of peak annual Common Nighthawk counts going back 25 years. I have also included the peak count from 2007 (to date) from Rick Quimby's Central Massachusetts sightings web site. Keep in mind these are one night high counts as reported to "The Chickadee" editorial committee and NOT season totals, so these maybe of little statistical significance, but I feel worth a look. I have included the year, the date, person(s) reporting the sighting, town location and number reported and the 3 year average.
The graph below is of the table listed above with the blue data line the annaul peak count and the pink a 3 year running average. The black data line is a linear trend line of the annual peak count data.


Larry said...

For crying out loud-I've only seen 2.-I guess I'd better look in better places!

Tom Pirro said...


keep in mind many of these sightings are time dedicated only to nighthawks. using both the bins for scanning and scope for longer distances. There are times when birds are seen over a mile away through the scope, unlikely to be seen while "regular" birding. Chances are a good vantage point along the Conn. River could yield good results. It seems like the many of the highest counts in massachusetts have come from the Conn. River Valley, from one very dedicated watcher in particular. Worcester birders have done very well over the years too.

Larry said...

That's great!-I live right near the Connecticut River.