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Grey Nightjar

Caprimulgus jotaka

The Grey Nightjar, known scientifically as Caprimulgus jotaka, is a nocturnal bird with a penchant for early successional habitats. This species, with its cryptic plumage, is a master of camouflage, blending seamlessly into its surroundings.

Identification Tips

To identify the Grey Nightjar, look for its muted grey tones, which provide excellent camouflage against the forest floor. Its body is streamlined and adapted for a life spent predominantly on the wing during the twilight hours.

Habitat

The Grey Nightjar favors habitats that are in the early stages of succession, areas that are regenerating and surrounded by forests. These environments provide the necessary cover and foraging grounds for this elusive bird.

Distribution

This bird is found across East Asia, where it is a familiar presence in the appropriate habitats. It is a species that has adapted to a range of environments within this broad geographic area.

Behaviour

The Grey Nightjar is a nocturnal creature, coming alive as the sun sets. Its behavior is closely tied to the dim light of dusk and dawn, during which it hunts and engages in other daily activities.

Song & Calls

The vocalizations of the Grey Nightjar are best heard during the twilight hours, a haunting soundtrack to the transition between day and night.

Breeding

Breeding behaviors of the Grey Nightjar, like those of many nocturnal birds, are less observed, but they are known to breed within their preferred habitats, taking advantage of the seclusion offered by early successional forests.

Similar Species

The Grey Nightjar is sometimes considered a subspecies of the Jungle Nightjar, its South Asian relative, due to similarities in appearance and behavior. However, subtle distinctions can be made upon closer inspection.

Diet and Feeding

As a nocturnal hunter, the Grey Nightjar forages during the twilight hours, taking advantage of the cover of dusk to catch its prey.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List has classified the Grey Nightjar as Least Concern, indicating that, at present, there are no immediate threats to its populations that would warrant a higher level of concern. However, it should be noted that its populations have experienced declines since the 1970s in Japan, which warrants monitoring.

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Grey Nightjars on Birda

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