Image for Night vision

Night vision

Duration: 03:25

Throughout Crychan Forest are areas planted with young conifers and the setting sun heralds the appearance of one of Britain's most elusive and intriguing birds – the nightjar. Mike Dilger is promised a fascinating encounter by Tony Cross who is studying the nightjars that migrate here from Africa. Usually you hear nightjars before you see them. The male has white splodges on its wings. The male and female fly around together. Tony and Mike set up mist nets to catch one for Tony's research. After a long wait they get one, record its data and then Tony shows Mike the nightjar's adaptations to night flying. It has huge eyes. The beak looks small, but has an enormous gape and bristles on the side that help funnel insects into its mouth. It also has a special comb on its toe for cleaning those bristles.

Available since: Thu 26 Jan 2012


Chris Packham
Janet Sumner
Mike Dilger
Jonathan Bigwood
Jane French
Richard Taylor-Jones
Paul Greenan
Paul Baker

This clip is from

Nature's Calendar Series 1, Spring: General Woodlands

Chris Packham visits Thetford Forest, home to some of our most colourful woodland birds.

First broadcast: 23 Feb 2007

Image for Spring: General Woodlands Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

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