Today, Dan sent along photos that he took just this morning, and here they are for our viewing pleasure. Thank you very much Dan, for sharing this experience with us. It's not every day one gets to monitor the progress of young bullbats.
Mother Nighthawk. August 5, 2008, Toledo, Ohio. Look closely.
In a bit tighter, and you can see the approximately nine day old chicks huddled under the adult. In Common Nighthawks, females do all the incubation and brooding; males hunt and deliver food. A closer view of the youngsters. In the first post, we could see only one young. Dan must have found the nest right after the first egg hatched, and the second had yet to spill forth the baby bullbat. Both are in fine form now, and growing like weeds. Seems pretty late in the year for nesting; most nighthawks nest in early to mid-June around here, I think.
According to the wonderful Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings of North American Birds by Paul Baicich and Colin Harrison, Common Nighthawks begin making their first trial flights at 23 days. By my reckoning, they should start imitating the Wright Brothers in about two weeks.
I'll look forward to photo updates from Dan, and will share them when I get them. Thank you Dan, for letting us enjoy these nighthawks!