Do birds fly at night?

Yes, All the nocturnal birds and some of the migrating birds fly during night hours.  When birds migrate at nighttime, they use moon and stars to navigate their path. By flying at night, birds protect themselves from their predators and take advantage of a cool temperature of stable nights.

Researchers at the University of Illinois and the Illinois National History Survey have conducted an interesting research to see whether birds migrating at nighttime travel in groups or in a scattered pattern. They came to the conclusion that birds migrating during the night hours fly in “social groups”.

Birds that belong to the nocturnal group, in other words, birds that are active at night, live their life same way the diurnal birds do. They look for their food, sing their songs and enjoy every moment of the dark and silent nights.

These are five nocturnal birds that are active and flying around at night.


Most people are already aware of the fact that Owls are most active at night. Owls’ large eyes are capable of seeing at night, so they are able to navigate their way to the destination in darkness. When it is time to find food, owl’s large eyes are not as helpful as their excellent hearing.


Nighthawks are another member of the group. These birds are most active in early mornings and late evenings. They feed on larger flying insects, such as moths, beetles, grasshoppers, etc…



Frogmouth is another bird that you may see in the dark nights. You can observe them mainly in India, Australia, and Southeast Asia. These birds are often mistaken for the owls due to their similar coloring and nocturnal habits. Although Frogmouths and owls look similar to each other, their hunting habits are different. Owls use their strong legs and sharp talons to catch their prey, where frogmouths use their beaks and do not rely on their fairly weak legs.



It is also known as poor-me-ones, are native to the South and Central America. They catch their food during dusk and at night. Similar to nighthawks, potoos also eat flying insects. They can catch their prey while flying in the air.


Nightjars are capable of flying at night like any other nocturnal birds. These birds are also called goatsuckers. Because, in the ancient tale, nightjars “sucked milk from goats”. They are also called bug-eaters because they feed on insects.

By Arslan Batyrovich

Founder of
Writer, Researcher, Fact-finder, and All-in-one
Loves nature, Likes history, and Adores anything interesting
To get tailored writing or to work with, contact at [email protected]