Standard-winged Nightjar

The Standard-winged Nightjar (Macrodipteryx longipennis) is a species of bird that is a resident breeder in Africa from Senegal east to Ethiopia. It is found in dry savannah habitats, with some scrub.

This bird is 7.9 to 9 inches long. This nightjar is relatively short-tailed, and lacks white in the wings or tail. The song is a churring trill. The adult male has a bizarre wing ornament during the breeding season, with a broad central flight feather on each wing. In normal flight, these feathers trail behind, but in display flight they are raised vertically like standards. Outside the breeding season, there are no plumage distinctions between the male and female. When roosting on the ground during the day, this nightjar is mainly variegated gray, with a browner collar.

This shadowy bird flies at dusk, most often at sundown. It can be sometimes be seen with flying foxes. It has a silent moth-like flight. No nest is made; the female lays two elongated and elliptical eggs upon bare ground. Like other Nightjars, the Standard-winged Nightjar feeds on insects in flight.

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