Resident Large-tailed Nightjar

posted in: Morphology-Develop., Videography | 0

“For the past 5 days we have enjoyed continual, daytime observations of our ‘resident’ male Large-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus bimaculatus).

NightjarLT [AmarSingh] 1

“The bird roosts in the same location and allows close observation (3-4 meters). It can also be seen from our bedroom window. It is sensitive to the household sounds we make and our movements in the garden, but seems tolerant of us. My wife has had to alter her garden watering habits, and this part of the garden now receives a little less of a ‘showering’, so as not to disturb our guest too much.

“The bird has three preferred roosting points, all located in the same 1.5 meters diameter patch. When it arrives (usually around 6.30am) it first perches on an old stump, possibly as this offers a quick exit or that the ground is still wet.

NightjarLT [AmarSingh] 2

“Today it rained from about 4-8am and it stayed on the stump for a longer period. Once settled it will move to the sandy base of a nearby Callistemon bush. Here it will stay until the sun come up and is strong (close to noon). It will then move forwards to a large stone (part of a broken walkway) and there sit under the shade of an Albizia julibrissin (Silk tree or “Mimosa’) until it leaves to feed at around 7.30pm. Note that time in West Malaysia has been adjusted to the time zone of East Malaysia (Borneo) and hence put forward by 1 hour.

“During the night we do not hear the calls of any Large-tailed Nightjar, so we are unsure if it is hawking for insects in our neighbourhood.

“Since we have an opportunity for close observations I have noticed these unusual fluttering mouth movements that the bird makes. I have heavily edited some close-up videos in an attempt to capture these brief events (see: HERE).

“The video is 2+ minutes long but watch the first 30 seconds that contains 4 such fluttering-mouth-movements. They are not feeding events or yawns (the rest of the video shows facial expressions, the usual mouth movements, yawns, eyelid movements, etc). These fluttering movements are not associated to any external stimulus and no sound is made.

“Appreciate any opinions.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
10th June 2017

Location: Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Wild urban garden

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