Nighthawk - Found at Iona Beach Park, Richmond BC
Nighthawks are birds of the nightjar family in the New World subfamily Chordeilinae. They are medium-sized nocturnal birds with long wings, short legs and very short bills that usually nest on the ground and catch flying insects. The Least Nighthawk, at 16 centimetres (6.3 in) and 23 grams (0.81 oz), is the smallest of all Caprimulgiformes.
Nighthawks have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is cryptically coloured to resemble bark or leaves. Some species, unusually for birds, perch along a branch, rather than across it. This helps to conceal them during the day. The female lays two patterned eggs directly onto bare ground. They are mostly active in the late evening and early morning or at night, and feed predominantly on moths and other large flying insects.
Nighthawks are similar in most respects to the nightjars, but have shorter bills and less soft plumage. Nighthawks are less strictly nocturnal than many nightjars, and may be seen hunting when there is still light in the sky. Nighthawks have short beaks which are perfect for catching aerial insects and crushing them.