Large-tailed Nightjar – perch and behaviour in heavy rain

on 14th September 2018

“Our resident/home-based Large-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus bimaculatus) has been with us for 13 months now and we have numerous daily observations (need to write a fully daytime account of activities). We have great difficulty accessing and working in the part of the garden he has chosen as home but, on rare days when he is not around, we can get to quickly keep the area to his specifications. We suspect the rare disappearances are due to disturbance from a Common Treeshrew (Tupaia glis) that has been visiting recently.

“Recently we needed to remove a bush in the Nightjar’s domain and we decided to leave behind a higher stump to allow it to perch, when necessary. He was very quick to use it the next day, possibly to stamp his claim on it; even though it brings him much closer to us (above, below).

“When it rains heavily, our resident Large-tailed Nightjar will seek a higher perch – one of the dead branches of a tree in our garden. Since we gave him a new perch, that has now become the choice location. The nightjar will hang down the wings to prevent them from getting water-logged and limiting his ability for a quick exit/flight (below).

“He will also rotate round and round, and lift up the wings and shake off excess water (Post 4). Images taken with high ISO in dark conditions (below). He is, after 13 months, still very wary of the camera although we can now watch behaviour more openly.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
19th August 2018

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

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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