I was coming out of the grocery after work and heard the distinctive call of the Common Nighthawk overhead. Since these crepuscular (fancy word for active at dawn and dusk) birds are only here in the summer, I always associate their calls with warm weather.
When I first moved here, I kept hearing people talk about "bulbats." I truly thought they were talking about big bats. But no, bulbat is the common name in this area for common nighthawks. Probably because many people think they fly like bats. Add that to the fact they are seen more at twilight, and one can understand where this name may have originated.
These birds feed on the wing; a bird that can't fly well is a dead bird. They cannot pick up food--they have a very delicate mouth that opens rather like seine which scoops insects out of the air. It is really interesting. The beak is so tiny, but when they open their mouths, the mouth looks bigger than their entire head. Although their common call is a scratchy screee noise, occasionally, you'll hear a louder "booming" noise when they dive. Although it is not extremely loud, this can be disconcerting when it is dark and you don't see the bird next to you.