Birds of Nebraska: Newspaper Accounts, 1854-1923

Editor [possibly Miles Greenleaf]. June 13, 1920. Pisk or Piramadig [Nighthawk]. Omaha Sunday World-Herald 55(37): 8-E. A bird editorial.

Pisk or Piramadig.

One of the most interesting and most common summer birds hovering almost constantly over the very heart of the city, and nearly equally as frequent over the wide fields of the outskirts, is the peculiarly temperamental Piramadig, some times called the Pisk.

The Piramadig lives entirely on insects, and for the purpose of catching them while sailing through the air is equipped with long whiskers about his mouth, which seem to sift the prey into maw. Because of the immense number of mosquitoes and kindred noxious bugs and things that he obliterates in this fashion, the Pisk, or Piramadig, is classed by the department of agriculture as one of our most useful birds.

Domestically he has other peculiarities. He nests upon the gravel roofs of buildings or on bare gravelly spots in the open fields, where his good wife lays a couple of eggs or so right out in the open - the cost of building material evidently being too high to suit them.

Still another astonishing feature of the Piramadig is the fact that he always perches lengthwise on a limb or wire, instead of crosswise, as is usual with most birds that perch at all.

The Piramadig is a first cousin of the Whippoorwill and gets the nickname "Pisk" from the raucous squawk he emits when flying.

We are talking about the common Nighthawk, of course, Piramadig and Pisk being a couple of his many colloquial or slang monickers in other parts.

Some folks even insist on calling him a Night Jar.