The Star-spotted Nightjar, also known as the White-tailed Nightjar is a nocturnal and cryptic bird species found throughout the wooded areas of Central and South America. This species of nightjar is relatively small, measuring around 23 to 25 centimeters in length, and weighing approximately 35 grams.
The Star-spotted Nightjar is characterized by its unique coloration, which is a mix of browns, grays, and blacks. The feathers on its upper body are mottled and streaked with dark lines, while the underparts are cream-colored. The bird's most distinctive feature is the star-shaped white spots present on its back.
The Star-spotted Nightjar is known for its distinctive call, which is a high-pitched trill followed by a series of short notes. This sound is often heard in the evenings and at night, as the bird is active during these hours.
The Star-spotted Nightjar is predominantly found in dense, humid forests, but can also be seen in woodland areas, savannahs, and coffee plantations. This bird species is generally solitary and prefers to rest on the forest floor, blending in with the surroundings to avoid predators.
The Star-spotted Nightjar feeds primarily on insects, which it hunts in flight. The bird's diet includes beetles, moths, and other flying insects, which it catches with its wide mouth.
Despite the wide distribution of the Star-spotted Nightjar, information about its breeding and nesting habits is limited. The bird is known to lay one or two eggs on the ground, often in shallow depressions among leaves and other ground debris. Both the male and female take turns incubating the eggs and caring for the young.
In recent years, the Star-spotted Nightjar population has been under threat due to habitat loss caused by deforestation and agricultural expansion. In addition, pesticide use in agricultural areas poses a significant threat to the bird's food sources. Conservation efforts are underway to protect the remaining populations of the Star-spotted Nightjar and preserve their habitat.