Great eared-nightjar

A nocturnal bird is fooling everybody with a tuft of feathers on its head resembling ears

Nigel Voaden

The Great Eared-nightjar is a fascinating and distinctive member of the avian world, characterized by its tuft of beautifully crafted feathers atop its head, reminiscent of ears. This unique feature, along with its erect posture, sets it apart from other nightjars and adds to its allure as a nocturnal predator of the forested regions of Southeast Asia.

Despite their cryptic coloration and elusive nature, Great Eared-nightjars are expertly adapted to their forest habitats, where they rely on camouflage to hide in plain sight among the leaf litter and debris of the forest floor. This remarkable ability to blend seamlessly into their surroundings enables them to remain undetected by both predators and prey, enhancing their hunting success and survival in their chosen ecosystem.

Unlike some bird species that invest significant effort in nest-building, Great Eared-nightjars take a more minimalist approach to reproduction. Instead of constructing elaborate nests, they simply lay their eggs directly onto the leaf litter, carefully hidden among the debris of the forest floor. Both parents share the responsibility of incubating the eggs, ensuring that the developing embryo receives the warmth and protection it needs to thrive.

Once hatched, Great Eared-nightjar chicks are raised on a diet of termites, moths, and other small insects, which the parents capture with their strong wings and agile flight. Despite their silent gliding through the air, these birds are formidable predators, capable of snatching prey from the darkness of the forest canopy with remarkable precision and efficiency.

In addition to their hunting prowess, Great Eared-nightjars play a vital ecological role as predators of insect populations, helping to regulate populations of potential pests and contributing to the overall balance of their forest ecosystem. By controlling insect populations, these birds help to maintain the health and stability of their forest habitat, benefiting a wide range of plant and animal species.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Bangladesh
2020
Cambodia
2020
China
2020
India
2020
Indonesia
2020
Laos
2020
Malaysia
2020
Myanmar
2020
Philippines
2020
Thailand
2020
Vietnam
2020

Anything we've missed?

Help us improve this page by suggesting edits. Glory never dies!

Suggest an edit

Get to know me

Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No