Common Nighthawk has been off my life list for an embarrassingly long time despite the fact that I’ve lived smack in the middle of its breeding range for about the last 20 years. To make matters worse, this is a bird that can be seen easily from a mile away; and it’s not really hard to identify it. The only thing that makes the common nighthawks a little challenging is that it does come out in the evening after most birders who gone home for the day. If you get up at 6 AM to catch the dawn chorus, you’re going to be pretty tired by the time you see your first Nighthawk. It pretty much requires a special trip. Nonetheless, it isn’t that hard to find and yet for reasons I can’t fully explain, I have missed it time and time again for years. For instance, a few years ago nighthawks were flying over the Turtle Pond in Central Park every night for several weeks until the night I took the subway out there to see them at which point apparently every last one of them had decided to migrate south. I have gone on nighttime walks in Prospect Park, and shown up two minutes after nighthawks flew over and everyone else saw them but me. I have been out to numerous locations where they are known to fly nightly and still managed to miss them time and time again. Most recently, yesterday, Saturday, I was on a Brooklyn Bird Club trip to Jamaica Bay when the leader got separated from the group. He saw two nighthawks fly over while I was busy looking at yet another Black-throated Blue Warbler.