VIDEO: Nightjar

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Thu, 24.05.2018 - 11:12

Video recorded by  Ahto Täpsi

Photo Arne Ader

Translation Liis


Estonian text posted 22.05.2018




Nightjar         Öösorr        Caprimulgus europaeus



A breeding bird in all Estonia, the number of breeders estimated at more than 10000 pairs. We can meet the arrivals most often from the beginning of May. The birds prefer sparse pine forest stands as well as mixed forests with pines dominating, sometimes also fellings.

The nightjars with nocturnal habits are most  often encountered on forest roads, in the lights of cars; at that time they hunt for larger insects that they feed on.

In daytime a nightjar that rests stretched lengthwise on a tree branch often stays unnoticed which is favoured by the unmoving position and the colours of brown, grey, white of the patterned plumage.

Is the male possible to distinguish from the female? Yes, they have more white patches in the plumage. At the sides of the throat we can see white patches as well as on the wings and the edges of the tail.

The body length of a nightjars is around a quarter of a metre, the wingspan is over half a metre and the weight 75 grams.

Towards the end of May nesting begins but for information: nightjars do not build a nest but lay the eggs directly on  the ground or in the forest debris, in sparse vegetation. Both adults incubate for about two and a half weeks.



Listen to both of Veljo Runnel’s recorded calls: LINK

Observations of nightjars in May : LINK


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