The Barred Owlet-nightjar bird is a fascinating and unique species that occurs in Australia and surrounding islands. This bird is also known by the name 'Mopoke' and belongs to the family Aegothelidae, which is a group of nocturnal birds related to the true owls.
Barred Owlet-nightjar birds are relatively small, with a body length of about 20-25 cm and a wingspan of approximately 50 cm. They have a distinctive appearance, with a pattern of dark brown and light grey bars on the wings and back, while the underparts are cream-colored. Their head is large and round, with large eyes that are adapted for seeing in low light conditions.
These birds are known for their unusual calls, which consist of a series of hoots, whistles, and clicks. They are mostly active during the night and can often be heard calling throughout the night. Barred Owlet-nightjars are also known for their unique way of flying, which is described as erratic and moth-like, and makes them difficult to spot in flight.
Barred Owlet-nightjar birds are found in a variety of habitats, including open woodlands, scrubland, and grassland. They are also known to inhabit suburban and urban areas. They feed mainly on insects, such as moths, crickets, and beetles, which they capture in flight.
Breeding behavior in Barred Owlet-nightjar birds is not well-documented, although it is known that they nest in tree hollows or other cavities. Females lay a single egg, which is incubated by both parents until it hatches.
The Barred Owlet-nightjar bird is considered to be a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, like many birds in Australia, they face threats from habitat loss and urbanization. Conservation efforts to protect their habitat and raise awareness of their unique biology and behavior are crucial to ensure the survival of this fascinating species.