- Associated Press - Sunday, November 2, 2014

VERMILLION, S.D. (AP) - A researcher at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion spent a lot of time on the roof of several flat-top buildings on campus to study the habits of a nocturnal bird.

Biology graduate student Gretchen Newberry had to go where the Common Nighthawk commonly nests. She got permission and watched the birds on top of the I.D. Weeks Library, Al Neuharth Media Center and Richardson Residential Hall when they nested last summer.

The medium-sized, mottled gray-and-white species is found throughout nearly all of North America in the summer and they migrate deep into South America during winter.

Nighthawk numbers appear to be dwindling. The North American Breeding Bird Survey says populations have declined 59 percent from 1966 to 2010.

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