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Canadian Nightjar Survey

Nightjars are a unique part of Canada’s avifauna and three species breed here: the Common Nighthawk, Common Poorwill, and Eastern Whip-poor-will.

Due to their crepuscular and nocturnal habits, these aerial insectivores have been little studied. In fact, there is currently insufficient information to determine population trends for the Common Poorwill in Canada. However, the data that are available for the Common Nighthawk and Eastern Whip-poor-will suggest declines, possibly linked to decreases in insect populations and habitat loss across their ranges.

The Common Nighthawk is designated as being of Special Concern and Eastern Whip-poor-will as Threatened.

Common Nighthawk Photo: Catherine Jardine

The Canadian Nightjar Survey is tailored to all three species and the data will provide information on distribution, abundance, habitat associations, and population trends, which are critical for conservation and management efforts. Participating volunteers enjoy a soft summer night, amongst the fireflies, looking and listening for these unique and special species. Each volunteer conducts their roadside survey at dusk, once per year between June 15 and July 15.


To find out more and to get involved, contact:
Andrew Coughlan
Director, Québec

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