The Fiery-necked Nightjar is a bird that is native to Sub-Saharan Africa. It is a medium-sized bird, measuring approximately 22-26 cm in length. They are renowned for their beautiful plumage, which is characterized by a strikingly patterned chestnut and black collar, thin white stripes on the wings, and white spots on the tail feathers.
Fiery-necked Nightjars are predominantly nocturnal birds. During the day, they would rest on the ground, under bushes or in shaded areas, with their camouflage-like feather pattern blending with the surroundings, making them nearly invisible. They are also extremely vocal birds, with a distinctive and unmistakable call that resembles the sound of a repeated ‘Good Lord Deliver Us.’
These nightjars feed primarily on a diet of insects, which they catch mid-flight using their agile and wide-opening beak. They are also known to catch insects on the ground. Their swallow-like wings enable them to fly swiftly and maneuver deftly even in pitch darkness.
These birds are commonly found in savannas, woodlands, scrublands, and other open areas. However, due to widespread habitat loss caused by deforestation and expansion of human settlements, their populations have declined significantly in recent years.
One interesting fact about the Fiery-necked Nightjar is that they are devoted parents. After courtship rituals during which the male performs aerial displays, they will prepare a shallow, scraped-out nest on the ground, usually under bushes or clumps of grass. Both male and female will take turns incubating the eggs. After hatching, the chicks will be cared for by both parents, who will share the responsibility of feeding and protecting the young.
In conclusion, the Fiery-necked Nightjar is an incredibly fascinating and alluring bird, beloved by bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. It is a creature of the night, capturing the imaginations of many, and its unique beauty and behavior provides a glimpse into the natural world that remains largely hidden from our view.