More than a few birders have told me that they've seen this individual on my home turf (on campus). Yet after repeated attempts it just didn't show up for our rendez-vous.
After some how managing to finish my studying ahead of time I decided to see if I could find any Nightjars (actually, my main motivation was adding checklists to eBird :p)
Of course, I only brought my bins and head lamp. No camera or anything.
I saw the imposing figure from a fair distance away perched on a railing. I was surprised by its size despite knowing very well that they were big (about the size of a Great Horned Owl).
After satisfyingly close looks (this bird is rather tame due to the high density of nocturnal runners on campus) I decided to rush home and get the camera, knowing very well that Birding Laws were not on my side (Birding Law #3.c explicitly states that if you leave a bird behind to retrieve photography gear, the bird is guaranteed to not be seen again).
Needless to say, the owl wasn't there when I came back. Reminding me never to leave a bird behind.
I cut my losses and was happy to see this Long-tailed Nightjar - identifiable by the square white patch that is partially shown on its tail (outermost tail feather):
And then on my way back, the birding gods gave me a second chance in life (we only get 9 second chances). The large statue was back!
Artificial lighting from the streetlights helped illuminate the bird but it made it look unrealistic:
Check out the claws on this guy:
Don't forget to try the quiz below! I don't even try to ask you what your name is, so you won't be held accountable. And besides, it's good practice for the ongoing migration season!