Vakarlēpis. Foto: Markus Varesvuo

European protected bird species, included in the Annex I of the European Union Birds Directive. Found across Europe, in North-West Africa and Central Asia.


European Nightjar is a slender bird, slightly smaller than the Cuckoo, with long wings and tail. The plumage of the Nightjar is very masking - grey with brownish and yellowish spots - a bird that sits on the ground is almost impossible to spot. Nightjar is a night bird, active only late in the twilight and at night, when it catches insects in the air. Flies very quickly, without sound, flight manner resembling that of a large bat. During the males display flight Nightjars tend to "clap" their wings above the back. Sings both in flight and sitting on a tree. Nightjar lays eggs directly on the ground, without the nest. The clutch is only 2 eggs, the chicks hatch downy and can somewhat move on their own right away. Winters in the tropical Africa.

In Adazi protected landscape area Nightjars are found in heath, Rampa bog, sparse pine forests and clearings. At night, these birds tend to land on the road, so they are very threatened by the cars. Dazzled by car lights, Nightjars may be unable to escape from a moving car and die. Up to 67 pairs of these birds nest in "Adazi".