Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Triumph of the Poorwill

I saw my first Common Poorwill (Phalaenoptilus nuttallii) in June 1985 in Water Canyon in the Magdalena Mountains west of Socorro, NM. It is a smaller relative of Whip-poor-wills and nighthawks. It is nocturnal and is often found sitting on the ground near dusk and dawn. I have never before managed to photograph one.

Tonight I had a wonderful bit of luck: around 8:30pm, there was one sitting on the street where I live. I grabbed my camera and managed to get this picture using the built-in flash.

photo of Common Poorwill

Cute little guy, isn't he? About 8" long. As I drove away I found a second one half a block further on. It's fall migration; they must be moving.

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