Distinct Nightlife at Koh Chang with Nightjars
Besides from the night entertainment and fun activities in the hotels and resorts, the island of Koh Chang has another delightful sight for tourists and visitors alike and this is the nightjars. They are medium-sized nocturnal or crepuscular birds. They are mostly active at night time or in the late evening and early morning. Nightjars are resident birds of Koh Chang and the reason of their permanency is attributed to the natural surroundings of the island especially when Koh Chang was declared as part of Mu Koh Chang National Park.
Nightjars, scientifically known as Caprimulgus europaeus, mostly have short legs and feet, and long pointed wings. They have finely patterned tree-bark like cryptic plumage which is considered their excellent camouflage in the daytime when they are inactive or in hibernation. Usually adult nightjars have flat wide head, short bill and large eyes that give them the advantage to maneuver even in low light levels or during night. Males are distinguished from females by their white patches on the wings. Their flight agility is mainly due to their long wings and tails. Nightjars are fabled as goat milk sucking birds and this was evident in their scientific Latin name Caprimulgus which means “goat suckers” because of their wide soft mouths and often observed feeding near grazing animals. This ancient superstition however does not provide real proof or evidence. What the name “nightjar” refers to is actually the loud jarring call of the male which are calculated to contain 1,600-1900 notes per minute. And they usually do the jarring in the silence of the night.
Other distinctive features about this kind of birds are they are not good layers and they do not have nests. They lay one or two eggs directly unto bare ground. It has been suggested that in the event of danger, nightjars move their eggs or chicks from the nestling site by carrying them in their wide soft mouths. Though seven species out of 91 are threatened, nightjars’ population is at the LC status or least concern in the conservation status index.