Eye Shine and Owlet Nightjars

To: "" <>
Subject: Eye Shine and Owlet Nightjars
From: Roger McNeill <>
Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2013 18:39:29 -0800 (PST)
A few weeks ago Gus McNab was over and we were discussing spotlighting and I 
mentioned how I have a good population of Owlet Nightjars on our block but I 
never see them at night because their eyes don't eyeshine, despite wandering 
the woods after hours. 
He told me (politely) how wrong I was and the issue was that I was not holding 
the torch in the right place to see it.  What I needed to do was walk around 
like a unicorn with the torch beam emenenting from between my eyes.  I 
(polietly) said that is faseniting, thinking that this was surely some ploy to 
make me look like an idiot...not that help is required...and thinking how 
that could possibly be true?
Last night, I had a visiting bird-o who wanted to see Nightjars and other 
things so we decided to wander the tracks and see what we could find.  First 
try was for White-throated Nightjars...two birds pearched up for us, brilliant 
eyeshine.  A koala started calling back at the house so we wandered back, yep 
bright eye shine...we then decided to walk down to "owlet-nightjar grove" and I 
had three birds respond and two come in, one quite close.  I put the torch on 
the bird and as expected no-eyeshine...but then I tried Gus' recomendation and 
move the torch between my eyes and wow, its eyes shown back bright red like 
a Christmas tree.  Amazing! Gus you were right, but I have no idea what the 
explanitaion was or why this is the case!  Thanks for the tip...wanted to share 


Roger McNeill
Samford Valley, SEQ

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