Nightjars are most active at dawn and dusk when they hunt for moths, beetles and crane flies. They demonstrate astonishing aerial agility as they execute rapid twists and turns in pursuit of their prey. Nightjars are summer visitors to the UK, which is right at the western tip of their breeding range that extends from Africa to Mongolia. During courtship, the male attracts a mate by calling with a loud ‘churring’ call that contains 1,900 notes per minute. Nightjars have an unusual serrated middle claw which they use like an inbuilt comb to preen their feathers.

Scientific name: Caprimulgus europaeus
Rank: Species
Common names: European nightjar