The Great Eared-Nightjar Lyncornis macrotis a member of the family Caprimulgidae, is one of the 11 nightjar species found in the South Asian region (Rasmussen & Anderton 2005). It is native to the Indian subcontinent and is also known from Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and the mainland of China (Birdlife International 2012). In India, the Great Eared-Nightjar is found in the Western Ghats and northeastern India (Grimmett et al. 2011). It prefers forests and also occurs in secondary forests, along forest edges, near rivers in primary forests, in secondary growth and scrublands, in clearings and wooded grasslands (Rasmussen & Anderton 2005).
On 25 April 2009, during a field visit to Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary, Kalahandi District, Odisha at 07:10hr, I sighted a Great Eared-Nightjar (Image 1) on the banks of Jakam River, near Jakam forest rest house (19044’43.18”N & 83006’34.91”E) (Fig. 1). While I was walking along the forest road the bird was flushed and it later settled on a dead tree trunk and allowed me to take a photograph. It was identified as the Great Eared-Nightjar due to the prominent ear-tufts, lack of white patches in wing and tail, brown wing coverts, buff collar around the neck and also due to its large size. The sanctuary falls within the Eastern Ghats of Odisha. The vegetation of the sanctuary largely comprises Northern tropical moist deciduous, dry deciduous and bamboo forests (Champion & Seth 1968). Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary is a home to 123 species of birds (Palei et al. 2011), including a globally threatened Green Avadavat Amandava formosa (Palei 2012).
There have been no records of the Great Eared-Nightjar from the Eastern Ghats, except an anecdotal sighting from the state of Andhra Pradesh (Grimmett et al. 2011). In the present paper the Great Eared-Nightjar is reported for the first time from Odisha and the Eastern Ghats range. A further systematic survey will ensure the distribution and status of the species in and outside Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary and the possibility of vagrancy, passage migrant status or resident status will be explored.
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BirdLife International (2012). Lyncornis macrotis. In: IUCN 2014. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 19 November 2014.
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Palei, H.S. (2012). Sighting of Green Avadavat Amandava Formosa in Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary, Odisha, India, Zoo’s Print XXVII(1): 25.
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Grimmett, R., C. Inskipp & T. Inskipp (2011). Pocket Guide to The Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 528pp.