Wednesday 7 December 2022

Wild Bird Wednesday 541 - Australian Owlet-Nightjar

The Australian Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles cristatus) is the smallest of the nocturnal birds found in Australia.  I was lucky enough to go on a night-walk nr. Bendigo in central Victoria last week and we found at least three of these birds.  We went back to the same area the next morning and found a bird roosting in a hollow branch.

The scientific name means 'bristly goatsucker' - with the bristly coming from the bristly feathers above the beak, and the 'goatsucker' from the old belief that birds like this used to suckle goats!

I has a number of other, older, common names including The Moth Owl, which may be more about its size (about 22 cm) than its diet.

This species is found all over Australia and is considered common. I suspect that its nocturnal ways make it seem much less common than it actually is. 

The bird on the branch was the first we saw, and the other two pictures show a bird 'looking out' from a nest box.

These pictures were taken in the day light the next day.

The daylight pictures look much better when enlarged - so click away!

As ever to join in with WBW, click on the link below.  SM

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  1. What an intriguing little birds. Stewart. Thank you

  2. Hari OM
    Well, isn't that just the cutest wee thing?! YAM xx

  3. Now isn't that a cutie Stewart. Wonderful to see. Thanks for hosting and I hope you have a good week ahead.

  4. I'm sure this little goatsucker gets more respect when he is mistaken for a fierce owl.

  5. Just amazing. If you have any inkling that I am dripping with envy you are quite right, and if you are gloating then you have the right to do that to. What a fabulous bird to encounter.

  6. The photos of the bird in the end of the branch are super. Great captures! It must have been exciting to see them!

  7. Hi Stewart, nice photos of the owl. I love them.

  8. Awwwwww that is just so cute, I am in love. Wonderful photos, and as David says I am so envious.
    Thanks for hosting and sorry I do net get here more often, time never seems to be on my side! Cheers Diane

  9. It is a cute little bird and does not deserve a name like ‘bristly goatsucker!’