Main content

Red-necked Nightjar

Chris Packham presents the nocturnal red-necked nightjar of the Spanish countryside.

Tweet of the Day is the voice of birds and our relationship with them, from around the world.

Chris Packham presents the nocturnal red-necked nightjar of the Spanish countryside. Like others in the family, red-necked nightjars are nocturnal birds which feed on large insects, snapping them up with huge bristle-lined mouths. A summer migrant, the red-necked nightjar breeds mainly in Spain, Portugal and North Africa. It is closely related to the common European nightjar, but it sounds very different. By day they hide on the ground among scrub where their cryptic patterns provide excellent camouflage. They're the colour of mottled bark and as you'd expect from their name, have a rusty-red collar. As the sun sets, they emerge from their hiding places to glide and turn on slender wings through scrub and pinewoods, occasionally warning rivals by clapping their wings together over their backs with a sound like a pistol-shot. Between bouts of moth-chasing, they settle on a pine branch and pour forth their repetitive, but atmospheric song.

Available now

2 minutes

Red-necked nightjar (Caprimulgus ruficollis)

Webpage image courtesy of Roland Seitre / naturepl.com.

NPL Ref 01469770 © Roland Seitre / naturepl.com

Broadcasts

Podcast: Planet Puffin

Podcast: Planet Puffin

Exploring all things puffin - the silly and the serious, the scientific and the cultural.

Try this new podcast

Try this new podcast

Five stories of birds and birdsong are told by the people inspired by them.

Podcast