Eurostopodus diabolicus

Written by on November 19, 2010 in Indonesia Bird with 0 Comments

Eurostopodus diabolicus, Diabolical Nightjar, Taktarau Iblis


The Satanic Eared Nightjar, Eurostopodus diabolicus also known as Sulawesi Eared Nightjar, Diabolical Nightjar or Heinrich’s Nightjar is a medium-sized, approximately 27cm long, greyish brown spotted nightjar with dark crown, barred brown below and small white spot on the third and fourth outer primaries wing feathers.

An Indonesian endemic, this poorly known species was discovered in 1931 at Minahasa peninsula of North Sulawesi. Previously known only from a single female collected in Klabat Volcano, this species was rediscovered in May 1996 at Lore Lindu National Park in Central Sulawesi.

The common and scientific names of this species refer to a local superstition: it is associated with a “wet” plopping sound, repeated twice, that may be heard in the nighttime in its habitat. Locals believe this bird to be a demonic entity that tears the eyes of sleeping people out, hence the sound. The voice recorded during more recent studies does not match this description however (see also Devil Bird).

Due to ongoing habitat loss, small population size and limited range, the Satanic Eared Nightjar is evaluated as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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