|Common Nighthawk. Malheur NWR, Oregon. May 30, 2010 by Greg Gillson.|
Chickadee and Wren-like Songbirds
Sparrow and Finch-like Songbirds
A beginner should be able to quickly place a bird they see into one of these categories.
Aerial landbirds include nightjars, hummingbirds, swifts, swallows. These birds generally feed on the wing. In other words, while flying. All eat insects, though hummingbirds also feed on nectar.
Nightjars include mostly crepuscular birds such as nighthawks and whip-poor-wills. Hummingbirds and swallows are well-known. Swifts are so adapted to flight and their feet so weak that they are unable to perch on wires, branches, or the ground. Thus they only rest by clinging to crevices in cliffs, the inside of hollow trees, or chimneys.