The Northeast Nightjar Survey is a project of the Northeast Coordinated Bird Monitoring Partnership in cooperation with New Hampshire Audubon and other state partners. All three species of nightjars in the Northeast: Whip-poor-wills (Caprimulgus vociferus), Chuck-will?s-widows (C. carolinensis), and Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor) are believed to have declined severely in the past 50 years, so the purpose of the survey is to collect information on the abundance and distribution of these species in the Northeast (and potentially the whole range in the future). These data will be used to track population trends and to identify areas where these species may still be relatively abundant, in order to guide land protection efforts, habitat management, and future research.

The Survey relies on a network of volunteers to conduct standardized surveys along roadside census routes during specific lunar conditions. The only experience necessary is a familiarity with both species' characteristic songs (you can listen to the songs here). It will also be helpful to be familiar with the calls and booming display of the Common Nighthawk), which sometimes occurs in the same habitats as the other nightjars. Volunteers are asked to conduct a single nighttime survey along pre-established routes between early May and mid-July (depending on location). Please read carefully and follow closely the instructions that follow. Compliance with these instructions will ensure standardized data collection and a more successful survey.