The Large-tailed Nightjar, scientific name Caprimulgus macrurus, is a species of bird that belongs to the family of nightjars, Caprimulgidae. It is a nocturnal bird, which means it is most active at night and is generally not seen during the day.
This bird is found across a wide range of habitats including dry forests, savannas, and open woodlands in Africa, from Ethiopia all the way down to South Africa. It has a large and rounded head, a short and wide beak, and a patchy brown-grey plumage with black and white spots. Its most distinguishing feature is a long tail, which can measure up to 24 cm in length.
The Large-tailed Nightjar feeds on insects, which it catches on the wing or picks up from the ground using its beak. Its diet consists of a variety of insects such as beetles, moths, and grasshoppers. It catches these insects in flight while flying low over the ground.
During the day, the Large-tailed Nightjar is inactive and relies on its excellent camouflage to blend in with its surroundings. Its coloration and feather patterns make it hard to spot, and it spends most of the day roosting on a branch or the ground, often near a tree trunk or a bush.
These birds are known for their unique and melodious vocalizations. During the breeding season, males perform courtship displays while calling loudly to attract females. These calls can be heard from a distance and are a beautiful and distinctive feature of the African night.
In conclusion, the Large-tailed Nightjar is a fascinating bird that can only be observed during the night. Its nocturnal habits, unique plumage, and beautiful vocalizations make it a captivating species to study and observe. Its long tail, rendering it highly distinguishable from other nightjars and birds around it, is especially remarkable. It plays an essential role in the ecosystem, controlling insect populations while remaining an important part of the ecosystem.