A Large-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus) is a nocturnal bird with a prominent white throat patch, large eyes and a wide gape designed to catch insects in flight. It has a greyish brown plumage which is a great camouflage when nesting among dead leaves and twigs on the ground.
A common resident with a distinctive "honk honk" call that commences at dusk. The call may continue well into the night with irregular stops and starts. It launches itself in acrobatic forays from a favourite tree perch or post and may be found in many urban areas with sufficient insects. It feeds on moths, other night-flying insects and is especially fond of flying termite swarms.
Nightjars don't make a nest and simply lay 1-2 mottled buffy/pinkish eggs on the ground in a shallow depression. They nest in the open, usually in a shaded area, under a tree or bush. The eggs are well camouflaged and look like pebbles. Eggs average 8-9g, the first egg is usually heavier and larger. Both parents take turns brooding the eggs which hatch in 16-18 days. [Back to "Birds"]