The great eared nightjar (Lyncornis macrotis) belongs to the family of nightjars, Caprimulgidae.
These nightjar species are distributed in the Indian subcontinent, China, Southeast Asia, Indonesia and Philippines.
These species are nocturnal or crepuscular and are related to frogmouths. There are five recognized subspecies of these nightjars.
The great eared nightjar is a small nocturnal bird, measuring about 30 to 40 cm in length.
The male is smaller and weighs around 130 grams, while the female weighs 150 grams.
They have brown and dark brown upper parts with buff speckles and spots. The crown may have bold blackish brown spotting.
They have strong wings and catch the insect prey as they fly. The legs are week and poorly developed and the bird may not be able to walk well.
These nightjar have the characteristic tufts on the head, giving them a eared appearance. They are active at dawn, dusk and the night. Their call is a loud, sharp “tsiik” followed by “ba-haaww” sound.
– Movement and migration patterns –These great eared nightjar species are non-migratory and are resident birds.
They may make local movements for feeding and breeding.
– Diet and feeding habits –These nightjars are nocturnal or crepuscular and feed on insects, beetles and moths.
– Habitat –These great eared nightjar species inhabit dense tropical forests, secondary forests and moist lowland forests.
They prefer areas near flowing waters and clearances in the forest cover.
– Distribution –The great eared nightjar subspecies L. m. macropterus is distributed in Indonesian islands (Talaud Islands, Sulawesi Islands, Banggai Islands, Sangihe Islands and Sula Islands).
The subspecies L. m. bourdilloni is distributed in Southwest India. The subspecies L. m. macrotis is distributed in more than eleven islands of Philippines.
The subspecies L. m. cerviniceps is distributed in Northeast India, Bangladesh, South China and southeast Asia.
The subspecies L. m. jacobsoni occurs in Simeulue Island located off Northwest Sumatra in Indonesia.
– Breeding –The breeding season of these nightjar species is between January and May in South India and Malaysia.
The nest is a scraped hollow on the ground.
A single egg is laid and both the parents take turns to incubate.
The nightjar parents camouflage chick among leaf litter on the forest floor.