June’s bird of the month is the Nightjar, Caprimulgus europaeus.
UK conservation status: Amber
Nightjars migrate to the UK during April and May. They leave for their wintering grounds in sub-Saharan Africa in August and September. The nightjar is a bird with strange associations. Its other name is goatsucker, which seems to have arisen from its habitat of spending time on the ground, near livestock.
They have also been associated with witches. The males make a ‘churring’ sound, perched on a branch, which was thought to be witches hissing.Their plumage camouflages them in woodlands and heathlands during the day. At night, they fly silently, ‘hawking’ for insects.
Why not come and have a look at the Booth Museum specimens once we reopen and compare them with any you’ve managed to photograph (or our sample images).
Kerrie Curzon, Collections Assistant and Lee Ismail, Curator of Natural Sciences