Life with nocturnal birds

The Indian nightjar (Caprimulgusasiaticus) is a small crepuscular bird with a distinctive call. Most usually found in open woodland, scrub, and cultivation and sometimes roads, it usually sits on the ground or low trees and is not found on high perches.

Birdlife is fascinating as well as beautiful, with night birds adding a certain charm and mystique to their charisma. I have always wondered about nocturnal birds, and had a chance encounter with one of these fascinating nocturnal creatures in the city.

I was driving home at night, when I noticed this Indian Nightjar mother and her chicks right in the middle of the roads. It was an incredible moment to view the bird roosting in the middle of the main road within the city limits! After I overcame my shock at the bird’s presence, came the realization that this might be a one-in-a-million chance for me to capture images of the nightjars from close proximity. I killed the engine of my car, and put on fog lights to help better document and photograph the birds.

It felt as if we were intruding, on their privacy as well as their habitat, leading them no choice but to roost on urban roadways. Highways and roadways all over the country intersect and intrude on wildlife conservation grounds. With news of frequent road kills, there might come a time when there will be no wildlife to either endanger or conserve.

Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal or crepuscular birds in the subfamily Caprimulginaeof the Caprimulgidae family of birds. They have long wings, short legs and very short bills and are insectivores. The Indian nightjars are a smaller cousin, they are mostly grey/brown in color with a distinctive call likened to the sound of stones skipped on water. Their bright reddish reflective eye-shine makes them easy to spot in the beams of vehicle headlights.


About the Author /

A 20 years old wildlife photographer, Adithya Shravan id passionate about all kinds of flora, fauna and avian species.. He wants to explore wildlife and help conserve the wild.


  • Raghu

    November 28, 2019

    Good work bro. I really like your work. All the best

  • satish

    December 3, 2019

    congratulations aditya! read your article “life with nocturnal birds”. good going ! keep up the spirit

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