Made famous in folk songs, poems, and literature for their endless chanting on summer nights, Eastern Whip-poor-wills are easy to hear but hard to see. Their brindled plumage blends perfectly with the gray-brown leaf litter of the open forests where they breed and roost. At dawn and dusk, and on moonlit nights, they sally out from perches to sweep up insects in their cavernous mouths.
Following extremely hot weather experienced in Southern England here is Billy, a 16-year-old Eagle Owl, based in Hampshire, being sprayed with water from a hose to keep cool. The funny owl picture to the right shows Billy's expression at being sprayed.