The Moluccan Owlet-nightjar, also known as the Moluccan Eared-nightjar, is a small nocturnal bird species that belongs to the family Aegothelidae. They are named after their eared plumage, which resembles prominent ear tufts. The bird is native to the Moluccas, an archipelago in Indonesia.
The Moluccan Owlet-nightjar is small, measuring around 16 cm in length and weighing between 24-30 grams. They have a distinctive grey-brown plumage, with a white patch on their throat and a rufous stripe on their wing. Their wings are pointed, and they have a short tail.
These birds are strictly nocturnal, sleeping during the day and foraging at night. They hunt for insects in flight, using their agile and acrobatic flight to catch their prey. They make a buzzing sound when flying, which is the source of their nightjar nomenclature. They are also known to be very vocal, with a high-pitched and melodic song.
Moluccan Owlet-nightjars are not very common, and their population size is currently unknown. They are classified as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as possible predation by rats and other predators. The Moluccan Owlet-nightjar's preferred habitat is lowland rainforest and secondary forest, which are rapidly being destroyed due to land-use change and human encroachment.
Efforts are being made to conserve this species, including the creation of protected areas in the Moluccas. However, it is crucial to continue studying and monitoring these birds to gain more information about their population size and distribution.
In summary, the Moluccan Owlet-nightjar is a fascinating and elusive bird species that is currently facing various threats. Continued conservation efforts and research are necessary to ensure their survival in the future.