The Black-shouldered Nightjar is a type of nocturnal bird that is native to Africa. It is a member of the Caprimulgidae family, which includes other species of nightjars and nighthawks. This bird is found in a variety of habitats including savannah grasslands, semi-arid regions, and woodlands. It is a small bird, about 9 inches in length and with a wingspan of about 24 inches.
The Black-shouldered Nightjar is named for its black shoulder patch, which is visible when the bird is in flight. It has a mottled gray and brown plumage that provides excellent camouflage when it is resting on the ground. This bird is well-adapted to its nocturnal lifestyle, with large eyes that allow it to see in low light conditions and a silent flight that makes it difficult for prey to detect.
The diet of the Black-shouldered Nightjar consists mainly of insects, which it catches on the wing or picks off the ground. It is particularly fond of moths and beetles, and has been known to eat up to 500 insects in a single night. This bird is also known to take advantage of streetlights and other artificial light sources, which attract insects that it can then feed on.
The breeding season for the Black-shouldered Nightjar takes place during the rainy season, typically between September and March. During this time, males will perform elaborate aerial displays in order to attract a mate. They will also perch on prominent branches and call out to females with a distinctive "chuk" sound.
The female Black-shouldered Nightjar typically lays two eggs at a time in a shallow depression on the ground. Both parents take turns incubating the eggs for a period of three to four weeks. Once the chicks hatch, they are covered in downy feathers and are able to leave the nest within a few days.
Overall, the Black-shouldered Nightjar is an intriguing and unique bird that plays an important role in controlling insect populations in its native habitat. While it may not be as well-known as other African birds, it is a fascinating species that is well worth learning more about.