Nighthawk Symbolism & Which means (+Totem, Spirit & Omens)

Bull-bats, bugeaters, goat-suckers, the Nighthawk is the recipient of an array of bizarre nicknames. Its precise title is, as a matter of truth, a little bit of a misnomer. Neither a hawk nor a totally nocturnal animal, the Nighthawk is definitely a species of Nightjar. Typically acknowledged as resembling tiny dragons because of their distinctive form and cryptic coloration, Nighthawks are insect-eating birds with small ft and huge eyes. They’re most well-known for his or her unusually extensive mouths that are used to seize bugs. With owl-like faces and extensive gaping mouths, Nighthawks are each extremely distinctive and hauntingly lovely.

On this article, we’ll take a better take a look at the myths and tales linked with Nighthawks, in addition to the distinctive classes that we are able to take away from this decidedly weird little fowl. Whether or not the sight of Nighthawks in flight units your coronary heart hovering, whether or not you’re feeling compelled by the unusual particulars of this fowl’s anatomy, or whether or not you merely take pleasure in studying in regards to the myths and folktales which people have constructed up round these creatures, learn on to study all about Nighthawks!

Nighthawk Symbolism and Which means

Bat-like in flight, Nighthawks are sometimes troublesome to identify. Their feathers give them camouflage and they’re most lively throughout the daybreak and night hours when visibility is low. Moderately than recognizing them by eye, Nighthawks are most frequently recognized by the booming sound that they make. Nighthawks will typically careen in the direction of the bottom at excessive speeds and open their wings on the final second as a way to cease on a dime. The air speeding throughout the Nighthawks’ wings outcomes on this huge booming sound. This increase, mixed with their crepuscular bat-like flight, is the rationale that Nighthawks are typically known as “bull-bats.” Nighthawks, then, could signify the sudden. Though this big booming sound could sound startling, its supply is each sudden and innocent. (1)

This Public Area picture originates from the Nationwide Digital Library of the USA Fish and Wildlife Service

One of many different nicknames of the Nighthawk, the “bugeater,” has a way more simple supply. Nighthawks are also known as “bugeaters” because of their insectivorous food regimen. It is because of this nickname that individuals from Nebraska had been traditionally known as “bugeaters.” Nighthawks are related to the state of Nebraska and infrequently seem as mascots for sports activities groups and symbols of state satisfaction. That is presumably as a consequence of the truth that Nighthawks flying over the plains of Nebraska turned an emblem of the state. In truth, Nebraska was as soon as known as the “Bugeater State.” (2)

Widespread Nighthawks are birds who migrate over huge distances. Amongst United States birds, the Nighthawk has one of many longest migration routes round. Thanks to those lengthy distance migrations, Widespread Nighthawks are sometimes discovered far outdoors of their regular ranges. Though they’re native to North America, they’ve been sighted as far afield as Iceland, Greenland, and the British Isles. As a result of Nighthawks are recognized to seem far outdoors of their regular ranges, Nighthawks will be linked with vacationers, wandering, and being misplaced. (3)

Nighthawks use their huge mouths to swoop up the bugs that make up their food regimen. Due to this uncommon technique, Nighthawks could signify the concept of “casting a large web.” The fascinating and unusual anatomy of the Nighthawk reminds us to make the most of our strengths to the fullest.

As a result of Nighthawks are “crepuscular,” which means that they’re most lively at daybreak and nightfall, they might be related to new beginnings. The Nighthawk is the herald of the day and night time. They signify the transitions between totally different occasions and areas.

Nighthawk Native American Symbolism

Nighthawks are typically considered by Native American cultures as sick omens. It’s typically stated that their calls and their booming wing beats could foretell dying or misfortune for the one that hears them.

Nighthawks are typically linked with Cherokee identification, heritage, and conventional methods of life. A Cherokee chief named Redbird Smith shaped a bunch referred to as the “Keetoowah Nighthawk Society” with the purpose of preserving and training conventional Cherokee methods of life. Due to Redbird Smith and the Keetoowah Nighthawk Society, Nighthawks are sometimes taken as symbols of Native American identification, in addition to Cherokee identification particularly.

Nighthawk Christianity Symbolism

Nighthawks don’t seem typically in Christian symbolism or iconography. They’re, nevertheless, named amongst the animals that are listed as “abominations” and “unclean and unfit for consumption,” inside Leviticus.

“And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the many fowls; they shall not be eaten, they’re an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, And the vulture, and the kite after his variety; Each raven after his variety; And the owl, and the night time hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his variety”

— Leviticus 11:13-16 (4)

Like owls, Nighthawks are in all probability linked with wilderness and desolation.

Common Nighthawk on Post
Picture by Wikimedia Commons consumer Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren. Equipped underneath Artistic Commons 2.0

“Subsequently the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no extra inhabited for ever; neither shall it’s dwelt in from era to era.”

–Jeremiah 50:39 (5)

Nighthawk Celtic Symbolism

Nighthawks don’t have a tendency to seem in Celtic myths or folklore. As crepuscular animals, nevertheless, they’ll simply be linked with the Celtic thought of the “Otherworld.” The Celtic Otherworld is a spot of liminality. It’s the house the place supernatural beings stay. In between day and night time is the nightfall. In between the night time and day is the daybreak. These particular liminal areas are the house of the Nighthawk. So, the Nighthawk could also be linked with spirituality, magic, and transitions.

Nighthawk in Goals

Dreaming of the Nighthawk could also be an indication {that a} transition is approaching in your life. Nighthawks are representatives of the transition between worlds and between chapters. Dreaming of the Nighthawk could signify a change on the horizon. Modifications will be extraordinarily scary, however a Nighthawk dream could function an encouraging reminder that these intervals of transition are nothing to concern. Change doesn’t must be good or unhealthy. It simply is.

Dreaming of a Nighthawk would possibly point out a hidden or sudden power or expertise of which you must attempt to take benefit. A Nighthawk dream would possibly seek advice from the Nighthawk’s uncommon frog-like mouth. When these birds relaxation with their mouths shut, they appear to have small beaks. However after they open extensive, their mouths are the right web for corralling bugs. A Nighthawk dream could remind you to not underestimate your self. One thing uncommon or quirky about you would possibly simply be the hidden power that permits you to shine.

Nighthawk on Gravel
Public Area Picture Equipped by way of Wikimedia Commons by Wikimedia Commons Person Ammodramus

Nighthawk Encounters and Omens

Nighthawks are sometimes troublesome to identify. In truth, their camouflage is so full that they don’t use nests for his or her younger. As an alternative, they “nest” on gravel roofs and different flat areas. Their chicks are so properly camouflaged that no nest is important. Whereas Nighthawks are laborious to see, their nasally calls and booming flight noises are straightforward sufficient to establish.

If you happen to’ve been encountering Nighthawks, this will likely point out one thing mysterious or uncommon in your life. A Nighthawk encounter is usually a helpful reminder to look under the floor of your circumstances. The issues that you just expertise could have a trigger that you may’t but see.

Nighthawk in Mythology & Folklore

Nighthawks, Nightjars, and Whippoorwills all seem in myths and folks tales from around the globe. Listed here are a number of of those tales.

Native American Mythology:

In accordance with Native American mythology, a Nightjar’s name may spell dying for whomever hears it. It’s stated that the Nightjar’s name is an invite and the listener should decline it instantly. If the Nightjar stops calling, then the listener is prone to die shortly. If the calls proceed, then the listener is supposed for a protracted and affluent life. (6)

Mohegan legend states that Whippoorwills and Nighthawks are literally small magical individuals who dwell within the woods and make all kinds of mischief. (7)

Japanese Mythology:

A Japanese brief story courting again to the Nineteen Twenties options the Nighthawk. Within the story of The Nighthawk Star, the Nighthawk is bullied and rejected by the opposite birds of the world. The hawk, particularly, hates the Nighthawk as a result of it has “hawk” inside its title. Sooner or later, the hawk threatens the Nighthawk and warns him that if he doesn’t change his title then he shall be killed. Unhappy and determined, the Nighthawk begs the solar and stars one-by-one to shelter him from the hawk. One-by-one, the solar and stars refuse to shelter him. Prepared to surrender, the Nighthawk plunges to the earth, however earlier than he hits the bottom, he will get a renewed sense of dedication. He flies excessive into the sky till he’s beside the star, Cassiopeia. There, the Nighthawk lives on in security because the Nighthawk Star. (8)

Nighthawk Closeup
Picture by Wikimedia Commons consumer Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren. Equipped underneath Artistic Commons 2.0

Greek Mythology:

Greek philosophers, reminiscent of Aristotle and Pliny the Elder, have written in regards to the Nighthawk household, nevertheless in accordance with the traditional Greeks, these birds had an urge for food for extra than simply bugs. Greek delusion means that Nightjars and Nighthawks subsist upon the milk of goats which they steal instantly from the goats’ udders. This isn’t true, however it’s a fascinating interpretation of the bizarre anatomy of this species.

“The Caprimulgi (so referred to as of milking goats) are like the larger form of Owsels. They bee night-theeves; for all of the day lengthy they see not. Their method is to come back into the sheepeheards coats and goat-pens, and to the goats udders presently they goe, and suck the milke at their teats. And looke what udder is so milked, it giveth no extra milke, however misliketh and falleth away afterwards, and the goats develop into blind withall.”

— Pliny the Elder 77 AD (9)

Nighthawk Spirit Animal

In case your spirit animal is the Nighthawk then you’re probably an uncommon particular person who enjoys doing issues your individual method. Folks with the Nighthawk spirit animal love exploring and satisfying their curiosity. The Nighthawk spirit animal is of course curious and is usually drawn to the issues that individuals overlook or ignore.

The Nighthawk spirit animal is introverted, however very inventive. Folks with this spirit animal are nice problem-solvers who search for inventive new angles to cope with the circumstances that life throws at them.

The Nighthawk spirit animal tends to be very free-thinking and vulnerable to daydreaming. Folks with this spirit animal could need assistance staying grounded, however their dreamy natures assist them think about unimaginable new potentialities.

Nighthawk Totem Animal

In case your totem animal is the Nighthawk then you’re probably an individual with numerous hidden potential. Folks with the Nighthawk as their totem animal have untold strengths which they might not notice. Typically, the Nighthawk totem doesn’t perceive the worth and potential of its particular person quirks.

In case your totem animal is the Nighthawk then you must give attention to the issues that make you distinctive. Embrace your challenges and dive into your pursuits. That method you’ll uncover the depths of your potential.

Nighthawk on Bough
Picture by Wikimedia Commons consumer Alejandro Bayer Tamayo. Equipped underneath Artistic Commons 2.0

Nighthawk Energy Animal

If the Nighthawk is your energy animal then chances are you’ll invoke this animal to ease you thru life’s transitions. The Nighthawk is a fowl which is unafraid of transition and embraces the components of life which others hesitate to discover.

The Nighthawk energy animal is usually a improbable supply of steering during times of change and transition.

Nighthawk Tattoo Which means

A Nighthawk tattoo could also be a reminder of the sweetness and magic that exists in uncommon or distinctive issues. Nighthawk tattoos could signify transitions, hidden strengths, or potential.

A Nighthawk tattoo might also signify unhealthy luck or misfortune.


Nighthawks are decidedly weird. Owl-like faces, frog-like mouths, tiny ft, and unusual booming sounds accompany this creature because it whizzes and bobs by means of the night sky. Unusual, however lovely, the Nighthawk is an ideal image for the superb issues which come to life throughout the daybreak and nightfall hours. There’s a entire world of gorgeous and beautiful creatures which stay proper on the edges of our notion.

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