Don’t you just hate it when your carport gets overrun with an infestation of nightjars? I know I do.
But this is just what happened when I stepped out to the car this morning. The poor thing had gotten confused and was flying upwards, encountering only the hazy image of the world outside through the fiberglass windows.
I knew it wasn’t a Chuck-will’s-widow (they’re insanely large1), but I needed to be certain it wasn’t a Whip-poor-will (a find indeed for west Texas). A quick look in the book (with the bird in hand no less!), and I was satisfied that it was the more expected of the three — Common Poorwill. (Though not my best picture ever.)
Unable to find a box, a frantic search for a suitable transport container ensued. I settled on a T-shirt strategically folded to close the openings. After a short drive through residential streets (forgetting no more than one stop sign), I released it under the bushes at a local cemetery.
1 I was once on a pelagic trip 80 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico when we saw a large dark bird flying low over the water’s surface. For a moment we thought it was a shearwater, but it never glided and no one could figure out what it was. When we finally got close enough, it turns out it was a Chuck-will’s-widow.