Nightjar is a nocturnal bird found in all parts of the world. The scientific name of this species is Caprimulgida. It comes from the family Caprimulgidae and subfamily Caprimulgina under the order Caprimulgiformes. Nightjar birds can live in all climatic conditions, but they cannot survive in extreme cold and hot climate. As a nocturnal bird, it is much active during the night, late evening and in the early morning time. Unlike other usual birds, it builds its nest in the ground, and the bird has small legs to walk, and long wings to fly distances. The feathers of the species are cryptically coloured, and it resembles bark and leaves of the tree which keeps them safe from predators. The bird can grow up to 22 – 24 cm long and weight will be around 79 g. The size of the bird is quite smaller than other nocturnal birds.
Scientific name: Caprimulgidae
Higher classification: Caprimulgiformes
Weight: 79 g
Length: 22 – 24 cm
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Species of Nightjar Bird
The Nightjar bird has divided into three subfamilies Eurostopodinae, Caprimulginae & Chordeilinae with 79 species. Here we listed all the names of the birds that come under these subspecies.
- Genus Eurostopodus (7 species)
- Genus Lyncornis (2 species)
Subfamily Caprimulginae (typical nightjars)
- Genus Gactornis – collared nightjar
- Genus Nyctipolus – (2 species)
- Genus Nyctidromus – (2 species)
- Genus Hydropsalis – (4 species)
- Genus Siphonorhis – (2 species)
- Genus Nyctiphrynus – (4 species)
- Genus Phalaenoptilus – common poorwill
- Genus Antrostomus – (12 species)
- Genus Caprimulgus – (40 species, including the European nightjar)
- Genus Setopagis – (4 species)
- Genus Uropsalis – (2 species)
- Genus Macropsalis – long-trained nightjar
- Genus Eleothreptus – (2 species)
- Genus Systellura – (2 species)
Subfamily Chordeilinae (nighthawks)
- Genus Chordeiles (6 species)
- Genus Nyctiprogne (2 species)
- Genus Lurocalis (2 species)
Interesting Facts about Nightjar Bird
- Nightjar gives a unique whistling call with the “churring” sound. It makes the sound when they find any predators in their territory. The loud call of the male bird is designed to attract the female bird during the breeding season.
- It is one of the most famous summer migrant bird as they change the location for a few days and come again in late May and leaves by mid-August.
- Nightjar builds their nest in the forest plantation and finds its food in the different locations like deciduous woodland, open oak scrubland, young conifer plantations and heathland.
- The plumages of the bird are grey, brown and red in colour which gets easily mingle with the bark of the tree and during day time, it provides the best camouflage. The male bird of the species can be easily found by its white patch on the wings.
- The Nightjar bird lay 1 to 3 eggs in their nest and gets hatched after 17 to 18 days. Both male and female birds take part in incubation and growing the chicks.
- Some species of these birds are threatened with extinction due to road accident because they mostly rest and live on the roads.
- Nightjars are great flyers, and it can float in the air. This noiseless flying bird can make swift twists and turns.
- The natural predators of Nightjar birds are snakes, owls and red foxes.
- The breeding season of the bird is from May to August. As it is a monogamous bird, the couple will remain the same for its lifetime. During the season, the male bird circle around the female by spreading its tail and wings to attract it.
- The lifespan of Nightjar bird is around 12 years in the wild.
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