New Hampshire Audubon’s Project Nighthawk has been monitoring Common Nighthawk nesting since 2007 in conjunction with a rooftop gravel nest patch experiment. Few nests are confirmed in New Hampshire each year and many are not successful, especially on rooftops. Reasons for nest failure are not yet known and often the inability to access a roof restricts our efforts to determine the cause. In 2016 we anticipated a unique opportunity to monitor rooftop nesting success with cameras at two sites where there had been successful nests in 2015, providing a high likelihood that the birds would return to nest on these same rooftops. A grant from the Blake-Nuttall Fund allowed us to place two cameras on these rooftops prior to nest initiation, but unfortunately the nighthawks did not nest at these sites in 2016. We relocated one nest at fledging, too late for camera monitoring. We relocated the second nest on a ground site unsuitable for camera installation, but with access for visual monitoring of productivity and post-fledging observations. There is little data on post-fledging nighthawk behavior or success and this provided valuable information on this time period.
Project Report: Common Nighthawk Productivity Research