Tan Gim Cheong came across the nest of the Large-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus) at Tuas, Singapore on 8th June 2009. It was just a simple scrape on the ground with a single egg. A normal clutch is one to two eggs. The female was around, as she incubates during the day.
The egg is oval, glossy, pale pinkish-cream and indistinctly blotched and spotted grey. It was slightly cracked, indicating that the chick was trying to break out.
A return trip the next day saw lots of ants around the egg. The tip of the chick’s bill was protruding from the break in the shell and the ants had moved inside the egg. The chick was obviously dead. The adult was not around.
Another failed nesting. The percentage of nesting failure among birds is generally high…
Image by Tan Gim Cheong.