The Large-tailed Nightjar and the spider 060108

posted in: Miscellaneous | 0

The Large-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus) is insectivorous. It feeds at dusk and just before dawn, sallying from a perch or even from the ground. It often perches on wiring immediately above street lamps, catching insects attracted to the light.

Its diet consists mostly of night-flying winged insects that are mostly taken and swallowed on the wing. Food may also be gleaned from leaves, twigs, branches or even from the ground.

The wide gape lined with long, tactile rictal bristles helps it to locate and channel small insects into its mouth as the bird flies around trawling for them. Larger insects are simply caught between the bill.

It has been recorded that it takes moths, crickets, grasshoppers, wasps, earwigs, bugs and beetles.

I suppose spiders are also taken.

The attached images show a small spider that has landed on the head of this bird. Obviously it is safe there as the bird is not able to reach it. However, this would not be the case should the spider moves away. It could then become an instant snack.

Input and images by Johnny Wee.

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