Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Lesser Nighthawk - Chordeiles acutipennis
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General Comments This bird of Southwestern deserts is somewhat of a surprise on the North Carolina Bird List. Though it is possible that unidentified nighthawks reported in the state after October could be Lesser Nighthawks, the only definitive record is one found dead in Carteret in Dec 1998* [Chat 66:1-6 link]. The specimen is now in the NC Museum of Natural Sciences collection. One was seen in flight along the causeway at Figure Eight Island (New Hanover) on 25 Nov and 16 Dec 2021 [Chat 86:29 link], [Chat 86:53 link]. However, this report was not accepted by the NC BRC, though a nighthawk was certainly involved, and the details do point toward this species as opposed to Common Nighthawk. Sadly, the bird was not photographed, which was the probable reason for lack of acceptance.
Breeding Status Nonbreeder
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank SA
Global Rank G5
Coastal Plain One confirmed record, and one likely record (though not accepted).
Piedmont No records.
Mountains No records.
Finding Tips
1/2 *
Attribution LeGrand[2022-04-25], LeGrand[2022-02-08], LeGrand[2018-02-01]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.