The Nighthawk is a beautiful and fascinating bird.
Unlike us humans, who have had to put our travel plans on hold, they are currently packing their bags, gathering in large groups and preparing for their long migratory journey to exotic destinations in South America like eastern Peru, Ecuador and southern Brazil.
A couple posted a photo of a grounded Nighthawk on the Nova Scotia Bird Society (NSBS) facebook page
which initiated the rescue, rehabilitation and (spoiler!) release of this protected bird back into the wild.
meant this adult bird needed help fast.
- The Nighthawk is an aerial insectivore, so a grounded adult Nighthawk that doesn’t try to flee from people is not behaving as it should.
- This combined with the fact that the Common Nighthawks' migration to South America occurs mid August to mid September ...
This adult Common Nighthawk was sitting out in full sun without any cover, and made no effort to flee, or even to move away form danger. The NSBS
helped to direct the finders in seeing the appropriate care for this bird, and thanks to everyone's swift action this bird was able to be admitted to the CWRC under permit from the Department of Lands and Forest for assessment and care.
A complete veterinary exam revealed that this little bird was very weak and badly dehydrated. Thankfully it had good muscle mass, was free from major injuries, and its feathers were in excellent condition.
Phew! What a relief!
The first 48 hours was spent stabilizing and monitoring with customized intensive care on Dr's orders, followed by several days of monitoring and feeding to build up the bird's strength.
Once this little nighthawk was feeling perky and feisty again it was time to finish its unscheduled layover and get back on the wing for a long journey to South America.
The NSBS was, once again, an integral part in this successful rehabilitation and release story! Not only did they help to identify that the bird needed help, they also provided assistance with getting in touch, and monitoring for nighthawk sightings in preparation for this little bird's reunion with it's fellow Nighthawks for the long, communal migration ahead.