Wing long and pointed, first primary shorter than second and generally than the third ; tail long, more or less rounded. Sexes generally distinguished by the presence of white spots on the wings and tail in males; represented by buff or rufous spots, or else wanting altogether, in females and young birds. In some species, however, the sexes are alike. Strong rictal bristles, generally white at the base. No ear-tufts.

The range is that of the family.

Key to the Species.

a. Tarsus almost naked.
a1. No distinct black streaks on back.
a2. Outer tail-feathers tipped white in , buff in……………….C. mahrattensis, p. 184.
b2. Outer tail-feathers white throughout except at tip in , banded and mottled throughout in……………….C. monticola, p. 185.
b1. Distinct but narrow black streaks on back……………….C. asiaticus, p. 186.
b. Greater part or whole of tarsus feathered; back with black streaks or spots,
c1. Two outer pairs of tail-feathers tipped white in
c2. Black shaft-stripes in middle of crown only.
a3. A white spot in on first three primaries ; tarsi three-quarters leathered……………….C. europaeus, p. 187.
b3. A white spot in on first four primaries; tarsi feathered throughout……………….C. macrurus, p. 188.
d2. Black spots over nearly whole crown ……………….C. andamanicus, p. 190.
d1. Four outer pairs of tail-feathers with subterminal white spots in……………….C. indicus, p. 190.

The habits of all Nightjars are similar. They rest usually on the ground amongst vegetation or stones during the day, and issue forth at dusk to feed. Their food consists of insects, and largely of beetles, which they capture, chiefly at all events, on the wing. Their flight is noiseless and tolerably rapid. From time to time they settle on the ground, on a stump of a tree, or a branch, or on a stone, and thence utter a peculiar rather monotonous reiterated note, which varies much in different species. When a Nightjar perches it selects a branch of considerable size, and sits as a rule longitudinally, not across like an ordinary passerine bird, and whenever it alights it rests with its whole body on the ground or perch. Besides their calls most Nightjars have a chuckling note, uttered during flight.

The following terms are generic and apply to all Nightjars :— Chippak or Chappa, H.; commonly Dab-churi or Dabhdk (dabna to crouch) and Andha-chiriya (blind-bird) ; Kapu, Mahr.; As kappri yacht, Tel., also Kappa pitta (frog-bird) ; Bimbasa, Rabasa, Omerelliya, Cing.; Pathekai (roadside-bird), Pay-marretai (devil-bird), Tamul in Ceylon ; Tamor, Lepcha ; Wapatshai, Naga ; Hnet-pyin, Burmese.

The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
Blanford, William Thomas, ed. The Fauna of British India: Including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.3 1895.
Title in Book: 
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Page No: 
Vol. 3
Term name: 

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