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Caprimulgids - The Oilbird, Frogmouths, Potoos, Owlet Frogmouths, Goatsuckers And Nighthawks

active birds five nest

The frogmouths, oilbird, potoos, owlet frogmouths, and nightjars are five unusual families of birds that make up the order Caprimulgiformes, and are collectively referred to as caprimulgids.

Caprimulgids have a large head, with a short but wide beak that can open with an enormous gape, fringed by long, stiff bristles. This apparatus is used by caprimulgids to catch their food of insects in flight.

Caprimulgids have long, pointed wings, and short, weak legs and feet. Most of these birds are crepuscular, meaning they are active in the dim light of dusk. Some species are nocturnal, or active during the night. Caprimulgids have soft feathers and a subdued coloration, consisting of streaky patterns of brown, grey, and black. Caprimulgids are well camouflaged when they are at rest, and can be very difficult to detect when roosting or sitting on a nest.

Caprimulgids may nest on the ground, in a tree cavity, or in caves. They lay one to five eggs. The chicks are downy and helpless at first, and are fed and brooded by both parents.


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