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

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

On this article, we’ll take a more in-depth have a look at the myths and tales related with Nighthawks, in addition to the distinctive classes that we are able to take away from this decidedly weird little hen. Whether or not the sight of Nighthawks in flight units your coronary heart hovering, whether or not you are feeling compelled by the unusual particulars of this hen’s anatomy, or whether or not you merely get pleasure from 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 energetic 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 to be able 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 explanation that Nighthawks are generally 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 US Fish and Wildlife Service

One of many different nicknames of the Nighthawk, the “bugeater,” has a way more easy supply. Nighthawks are sometimes called “bugeaters” due to their insectivorous weight loss program. 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 pleasure. That is presumably resulting from the truth that Nighthawks flying over the plains of Nebraska turned an emblem of the state. The truth is, Nebraska was as soon as known as the “Bugeater State.” (2)

Frequent 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, Frequent Nighthawks are sometimes discovered far exterior 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 identified to seem far exterior of their regular ranges, Nighthawks might be related with vacationers, wandering, and being misplaced. (3)

Nighthawks use their huge mouths to swoop up the bugs that make up their weight loss program. Due to this uncommon technique, Nighthawks could signify the thought of “casting a large internet.” 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 energetic 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 instances and areas.

Nighthawk Native American Symbolism

Nighthawks are generally considered by Native American cultures as sick omens. It’s generally mentioned that their calls and their booming wing beats could foretell loss of life or misfortune for the one that hears them.

Nighthawks are generally related with Cherokee id, heritage, and conventional methods of life. A Cherokee chief named Redbird Smith fashioned a bunch known as the “Keetoowah Nighthawk Society” with the objective of preserving and working towards conventional Cherokee methods of life. Because of Redbird Smith and the Keetoowah Nighthawk Society, Nighthawks are sometimes taken as symbols of Native American id, in addition to Cherokee id specifically.

Nighthawk Christianity Symbolism

Nighthawks don’t seem typically in Christian symbolism or iconography. They’re, nonetheless, 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 form; Each raven after his form; And the owl, and the night time hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his form”

— Leviticus 11:13-16 (4)

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

Common Nighthawk on Post
Photograph by Wikimedia Commons person Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren. Provided underneath Inventive 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 or not 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, nonetheless, they’ll simply be related with the Celtic thought of the “Otherworld.” The Celtic Otherworld is a spot of liminality. It’s the area the place supernatural beings dwell. 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 related with spirituality, magic, and transitions.

Nighthawk in Desires

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. Adjustments might be extraordinarily scary, however a Nighthawk dream could function an encouraging reminder that these durations of transition are nothing to concern. Change doesn’t must be good or dangerous. It simply is.

Dreaming of a Nighthawk may point out a hidden or sudden energy or expertise of which you must attempt to take benefit. A Nighthawk dream may consult with the Nighthawk’s uncommon frog-like mouth. When these birds relaxation with their mouths shut, they appear to have small beaks. However once they open vast, their mouths are the right internet for corralling bugs. A Nighthawk dream could remind you to not underestimate your self. One thing uncommon or quirky about you may simply be the hidden energy that lets you shine.

Nighthawk on Gravel
Public Area Picture Provided through Wikimedia Commons by Wikimedia Commons Person Ammodramus

Nighthawk Encounters and Omens

Nighthawks are sometimes troublesome to identify. The truth is, 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 effectively camouflaged that no nest is important. Whereas Nighthawks are laborious to see, their nasally calls and booming flight noises are simple sufficient to determine.

For those who’ve been encountering Nighthawks, this may occasionally point out one thing mysterious or uncommon in your life. A Nighthawk encounter is usually a helpful reminder to look beneath the floor of your circumstances. The issues that you simply expertise could have a trigger that you could’t but see.

Nighthawk in Mythology & Folklore

Nighthawks, Nightjars, and Whippoorwills all seem in myths and folks tales from world wide. Listed here are just a few of those tales.

Native American Mythology:

Based on Native American mythology, a Nightjar’s name may spell loss of life for whomever hears it. It’s mentioned that the Nightjar’s name is an invite and the listener should decline it instantly. If the Nightjar stops calling, then the listener is more likely to die shortly. If the calls proceed, then the listener is supposed for an extended 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 quick story relationship again to the 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 identify. In the future, the hawk threatens the Nighthawk and warns him that if he doesn’t change his identify then he will probably 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
Photograph by Wikimedia Commons person Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren. Provided underneath Inventive Commons 2.0

Greek Mythology:

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

“The Caprimulgi (so known as of milking goats) are like the larger type of Owsels. They bee night-theeves; for all of the day lengthy they see not. Their method is to return 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 turn out to be blind withall.”

— Pliny the Elder 77 AD (9)

Nighthawk Spirit Animal

In case your spirit animal is the Nighthawk then you’re possible an uncommon particular person who enjoys doing issues your personal means. Individuals with the Nighthawk spirit animal love exploring and satisfying their curiosity. The Nighthawk spirit animal is of course curious and is commonly drawn to the issues that individuals neglect or ignore.

The Nighthawk spirit animal is introverted, however very artistic. Individuals with this spirit animal are nice problem-solvers who search for artistic new angles to take care of the circumstances that life throws at them.

The Nighthawk spirit animal tends to be very free-thinking and susceptible to daydreaming. Individuals with this spirit animal could need assistance staying grounded, however their dreamy natures assist them think about unbelievable new prospects.

Nighthawk Totem Animal

In case your totem animal is the Nighthawk then you’re possible an individual with numerous hidden potential. Individuals with the Nighthawk as their totem animal have untold strengths which they might not understand. Usually, 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 concentrate on the issues that make you distinctive. Embrace your challenges and dive into your pursuits. That means you’ll uncover the depths of your potential.

Nighthawk on Bough
Photograph by Wikimedia Commons person Alejandro Bayer Tamayo. Provided underneath Inventive Commons 2.0

Nighthawk Energy Animal

If the Nighthawk is your energy animal then you might invoke this animal to ease you thru life’s transitions. The Nighthawk is a hen which is unafraid of transition and embraces the elements of life which others hesitate to discover.

The Nighthawk energy animal is usually a incredible supply of steering in periods of change and transition.

Nighthawk Tattoo Which means

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

A Nighthawk tattoo may signify dangerous luck or misfortune.


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

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