The Common Nighthawk is easily recognizable by its silhouette as it flies high overhead on summer evenings all across southern Canada. The birds winter in South America.
When hunting on the wing, Common Nighthawks often make steep dives in the pursuit of insects such as beetles and moths. The bird's large mouth and surrounding bristles are ideally suited for successful aerial hunting. The birds often make a call that sounds like a nasal "peent".
Nighthawks do not build nests. Instead, they lay their eggs without concealing them, on the ground, or, in cities, on flat gravel rooftops.
Common Nighthawks range from 22 to 24 cm (about 9 in.) in length. Wingspans range from 53 to 57 cm (21 to 22 in.).