The animal on the cover of Responsive Theming for Drupal is a scissor-tailed Nightjar (Hydropsalis torquata). Sometimes called the fork-tailed Nightjar, this South American bird is known for the males’ elongated tail feathers, which can grow to be twice the size of their bodies. These brown, white, and black feathers are primarily used as display pieces during the mating season; females have short tails that contain no white. During courtship, the males and females find an open patch of ground, and while the females sit and watch, the males open and close their wings rapidly and jump into the air. This causes the tail feathers to whip and snap around and demonstrates the male’s agility and strength.
The range of the scissor-tailed Nightjar extends through many countries in South America, but is most concentrated in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Peru. They favor forests and woodlands or the cerrado, a kind of savannah with dense vegetation that is found in the more southerly parts of South America. Because they have such a large territory and fairly stable population numbers, this species of bird has been designated “Least Concern” by Birdlife International.
Females can grow up to 30cm long and weigh 70g; the males are slightly smaller. With a primary diet of insects, these birds are experts at snatching moths or beetles out of midair, but will also hunt close to the ground for bugs, ants, crickets, or grasshoppers.
Both sexes contribute to raising the young, but ...