In late spring and summer, you might have noticed a slim, brown bird flying around erratically at dawn and dusk, catching insects. If it had long, slender, tapered wings with a thin white stripe across the wingtip, you might have witnessed the feeding flight of a nighthawk.

There are two species of nighthawks found on the Texas coast. The common nighthawk ranges throughout Texas and, in fact, throughout most of the U.S. and the southern half of Canada. Lesser nighthawks are found in the southern and western parts of our state and also in the southern parts of New Mexico, Arizona and California.

Martin Hagne is the Executive Director at Gulf Coast Bird Observatory. Learn more about the observatory at

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