As dusk falls, the purring cries of the African Scops Owl (Otus senegalensis) sound softly from the savannah. Darkness breaks in. We want to end the day with one of the most incredible birds of the savannah. A male Standard-winged Nightjar (Caprimulgus longipennis) in full display dress is supposed to make his courtship flights over its territory on a terrain with barren stones in the middle of the densely vegetated savannah. Males and females of this species gather at these display arenas (the so-called leks) immediately after dusk in open places in the savannah. The males meet on the ground as well as in the air. They sometimes run towards each other in abrupt movements, but also move in a circle 1-8 m above the ground and sometimes swooping low over another bird on the ground. In contrast male displays to female are given by flying around the female giving faint clicking calls. As a result, the female Standard-winged Nightjar land nearby or fly with trembling wingbeats around the males while calling as well.
The Standard-winged Nightjar is named – of course – after their standards. Here you should be aware that “standard” means something like a flag. The male Standard-winged Nightjar has extremely elongated, second innermost primarie feathers, which are webbed at tips only, forming “standards” or flags. – They are what prompted the species name: longipennis (long feather). However, what has been said before also means that these flags are not tail feathers of the male. But the Standard-winged Nightjar is certainly Continue reading Standard-winged Nightjar in Guinea savanna woodlands in Mole NP