Eurostopodus guttatus Vigors and Horsfield, 1826, New South Wales. Monotypic.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Spotted eared-nightjar; French: Engoulevent argus; German: Argusnachtschwalbe; Spanish: Chotacabras Argos.
11.5–13.2 in (29–33 cm); 2.8–3.7 oz (80–104 g). Grayish brown, grayish white, tawny, and buff cryptic coloration. Sexes are similar.
Breeds over much of Australia west of the Great Dividing Range; winters mainly in north of breeding range, but migratory stragglers recorded from islands north of Australia.
Open woodlands, grasslands.
Roosts on ground during daytime; active from dusk until before dawn. Musical song advertises territories. Song commences with two to five up-slurred units then concludes with eight to 15 higher-pitched clinking double units, all on the same pitch.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Feeds on insects, mainly caught in sustained hawking flight over the territory after dusk and before dawn.
Nest is an unlined scrape in ground with clutch of single egg. The egg is greenish with dark spots. Small young have reddish brown down. Incubation apparently by both sexes, period unknown. Young can flutter short distances after 18–20 days.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
A retiring nocturnal bird of the Australian outback, unfamiliar even to most country dwellers except by its nocturnal calls. According to the superstition of some Australian aboriginals, this species took away babies during the night.
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