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Happy nightjar: Flickr photo of the day

Compass

This red-necked nightjar was found by Spanish photographer Xelemendez. A robin-sized bird, often called “Goatsucker,” it is most active at dawn and dusk. It gets its unflattering sobriquet from the Spanish word Chupacabra, meaning “suck goat” -- this came from ancient lore that it sucked the milk from the teats of an obliging goat.

This particular specimen looks to be laughing. Perhaps someone told it about the lore. The whiskers around its beak help capture large flying insects, such as moths, during its crepuscular hunting. Xelemendez does not say what lens he used, or if his feathered friend was a captive specimen.

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