Standard-winged Nightjar

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Standard-winged Nightjar
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Caprimulgiformes
Family:Caprimulgidae
Genus:Macrodipteryx
Species:M. longipennis
Binomial name
Macrodipteryx longipennis
(Shaw,, 1796)

The Standard-winged Nightjar, Macrodipteryx longipennis, is a bird in the nightjar family. It is a resident breeder in Africa from Senegal east to Ethiopia.

It is found in dry savannah habitats, with some scrub. No nest is made; the two elongated and elliptical eggs are placed upon the bare ground.

It flies at dusk, most often at sundown, and can sometimes be seen with Flying Foxes. It is a shadowy form with easy, silent moth-like flight; this nightjar is relatively short-tailed, and lacks white in the wings or tail. The song is a churring trill.

When roosting on the ground during the day, this medium-sized (20-23cm long) nightjar is mainly variegated grey, with a browner collar.

The adult male has a bizarre wing ornament during the breeding season, with a broad central flight feather on each wing elongated to 38cm, much longer than the bird's body. 20cm or more of this is bare shaft. In normal flight, these feathers trail behind, but in display flight they are raised vertically like standards.

Outside the breeding season, there are no plumage distinctions between the male and female.

Like other nightjars, the Standard-winged Nightjar feeds on insects in flight, the huge gape opening wide for moths and beetles.

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