Common Nighthawk

Common Nighthawk

Chordelies minor

Pay attention to the tops of fence posts while you're driving across the prairie. You may see a common nighthawk snoozing away.

At dusk, the nine-inch birds with 24-inch wingspans take to the skies as one of Kansas' most efficient aerial predators. Tiny bodies and over-sized wings and mouths let them put any flying insect they see in serious trouble.

Enjoy them while you can, though. With the first solid cold front of mid-September, many of Kansas' nighthawks will migrate off to warmer wintering grounds.