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The Desert and the River

THE EUROPEAN NIGHTJAR

The European Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus) is a migrant species of bird, arriving back from its winter habitat in Africa as late as the end of April or beginning of May. Here it nests in the surrounding light pine woods. The Nightjar spends the day resting among the broken off branches and chunks of wood on the forest floor. Although similar in size to the blackbird or thrush, the Nightjar is very difficult for an untrained eye to see. The lichen-grey plumage streaked with brown and black make it look like a piece of bark or wood and almost impossible to spot.

The Nightjar starts being more active late in the evening, foraging for moths. It can deal with unusual drops in temperature during the summer by lowering its body temperature, falling into a kind of temporary hibernation (torpor), to conserve energy. After dusk, the Nightjar is attracted by the heat radiating from tarmac roads that had been heated by the sun on hot, sunny days. It often falls victim to passing cars which easily blind the bird and kill it.

Suitable nesting places for the European Nightjar are disappearing, which is why the bird is on decline and protected under the EU Birds Directive.

GPS position

N 48° 56.042', E 17° 15.960'
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Contact

Vzdělávací a informační středisko Bílé Karpaty, o.p.s.
Marie Petrů
Tel.:518 322 545
e-mail:visbk@bilekarpaty.cz
http://www.bilekarpaty.cz