Lesser Nighthawk (Chordeiles acutipennis)

Lesser Nighthawk
Lesser Nighthawk - Salton Sea, CA
© Tom Benson
Lesser Nighthawk
Lesser Nighthawk - Barstow, CA
© Brad Singer

The Lesser Nighthawk is a casual visitor to campus: two were foraging over campus at dusk on 17 Aug 2008, one was foraging under the lights along North campus Circle on 10 May 2014, and up to three were seen in the CSUSB Preserve 21 Apr-03 May 2015. Due to its crepuscular habits, this species may occur more regularly on campus than these few observations suggest. In southern California the Lesser Nighthawk is an uncommon migrant and breeding bird in dry washes of the foothills and a common breeding bird in the desert.

The Lesser Nighthawk can be identified by its buoyant, erratic flight with deep wing beats. It is light brown overall with white bars visible near the outer ends of its long, pointed wings in flight. It is frequently active at dawn and dusk.


Links to more information: