This is momma nightjar.  She is watching over her nest in one of the out islands of the Bahamas.  Many out islands are remote and nearly unpopulated.  That's good for the nightjars because they don't have to worry about feral cats, unleashed dogs, or humans molesting them and destroying their nesting sites.

The tiny feathers on the head of this nightjar are a miracle of creation.  When I looked at them through my telephoto, I was completely blown away by her delicate feathered headdress.  Closer inspection revealed a "feather moustache" made of even smaller feathers coming off the beak.  I suppose ornithologists know all about beak feathers, but for the crew of Exit Only, a feathered beak came as a major surprise.

Momma nightjar isn't tame, but she also isn't frightened by our presence.  She actually let us come to within about three feet of her without hopping away or taking flight.  I'm sure the reason she stuck around was because we were in close proximity to her nest.

We actually stumbled on the nest by accident while we were exploring on the fringes of the beach.  She was so well camouflaged that we didn't see her until we were right by her nest.  Until she moved, we didn't know she was there. She hopped off her nest, but she didn't go far - she remained within ten feet of her nest roosting on a branch on the ground, surveying us as we surveyed her.

We backed away from the nest because we didn't want to upset momma nightjar.  We withdrew a reasonable distance, took a few pictures using a telephoto lens, and when we were about ten feet away, the bird promptly hopped back on her nest.

When you sail around the world on a boat and visit remote islands, you have the privilege of seeing nesting sites that can only survive in the absence of man and the feral animals that he brings with him.  If you bring rats, dogs, and cats to these islands, the bird life radically shifts to other locations because they can no longer nest safely on the ground.  Either the eggs will be eaten, the birds will be eaten, or both.  That's why you need sanctuaries - remote real estate  free from the feral curse.

It's thrilling to be with animals in the wild.  It doesn't matter whether I am with gazelles on the plains of the Serengeti, or standing a few feet from a nightjar on a remote Bahamas beach.  It's an experience that connects with wild animals in a special way.  You see, they aren't in cages.  I am on their turf, and I am their guest.  They can gallop away or spread their wings and fly if I am a bad guest.  If I am a good one, they will tolerate me and maybe even treat me as if I was their friend.


God made a beautiful world, and life is good.

Log 1 Peter Pan Around the World
Log 2 Weapons of Mackerel Destruction
Log 3 Pirates of the Malacca Straits
Log 4 Kissing Cobras
Log 5 Debriosaurus Rex
Log 6 Go Ahead - Live Your Dreams

Log 7 The Man Who Built His House on a Rock
Log 8 Ambivalent Eagles
Log 9 One-Shovel Full at a Time
Log 10 Hitchhiker's Guide to Planet Earth

Log 11 Keeshond

Log 12 The Red Sea Blues

Log 13 Feel the Freedom

Log 14 The Danger Zone

Log 15 Lucky Man
Log 16 Dream Machines - Land Rover Defenders

Log 17 Trade Wind Dreams
Log 18 Logs With Fins
Log 19 Everywhere, Everything
Log 20 Shark Slayer Is History

Log 21 Viking Funeral - Burial at Sea
Log 22 Improbable and Impossible

Log 23 Keep on Trucking
Log 24 Dream Machines II
Log 25 Bodysurfing Whales
Log 26 Hitting the Wall
Log 27 Surviving the Savage Seas

Log 28 The Next Step
Log 29 Welcome to Barbados
Log 30 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers
Log 31 The Man with the Unplan
Log 32 Dali Dolphins
Log 33 Flying Like a Turtle
Log 34 The Foolish Man Built His House on a Pitch Lake
Log 35 Go West Young Man
Log 36 Crossing the Atlantic in a Row Boat
Log 37 The Unsinkable HMS Diamond Rock
Log 38 Catamaran Capsize in 170 mph Winds
Log 39 When Are You Coming Home?

Log 40 Master and Commander of Anegada - Frigate Birds
Log 41 Baths of Virgin Gorda - Batholiths of Central Arabia

Log 42 Free at Last
Log 43 Stalking the Wild Manatee

Log 44 Spreaderman
Log 45 Attack of the Flesh Eating Bees
Log 46 Sharks and Coconuts
Log 47 Stingray Picnic
Log 48 Boo Boo Hill
Log 49 Whale Slayers
Log 50 Noddies (Not Naughty)


Log 51 Exumas Land and Sea Park
Log 52 David and Goliath
Log 53 Turquoise Clouds of Paradise

Log 54 Momma Nightjar
Log 55 Maximillian The Great
Log 56 Chiton Kingdom
Log 57 Flying and Holding On
Log 58 Far Horizons
Log 59 Clouds Are a Sailor's Friend
Log 60 Getting Connected
Log 61 Fear
Log 62 Grand Schemes and Other Important Things
Log 63 If Jellyfish Had a Brain
Log 64 Cousins That Don't Kiss
Log 65 Swimming With Sharks
Log 66 Perfect the Way You Are
Log 67 Space Travelers
Log 68 Aliens
Log 69 Monsters of the Mind
Log 70 My Butterfly Collection
Log 71 Somewhere Other Than Here Societies
Log 72 Five-Hundred Pound Spiders
Log 73 Red Sea Sunsets
Log 74 Gibraltar Sunrise
Log 75 Big Sea - Small Ship
Log 76 Just Cruising
Log 77 Castle Mania
Log 78 You Must Know the Sea
Log 79 Flying Like a Goat
Log 80 The Joy of Photography
Log 81 Universal Camouflage
Log 82 My Rainbow Collection
Log 83 Indian Ocean Reward
Log 84 Fiber W
Log 85 Turkish Reflections
Log 86 Mirrors and Mirages
Log 87 Lycean Tombs Rock
Log 88 Rigging Emergency
Log 89 Pamukkale
Log 90 Volcano Land
Log 91 Sniffing the Air
Log 92 Why I Don't Kite Surf
Log 93 Resurrecting Exit Only in Turkey
Log 94 Greased Pole Competition
Log 95 Tsunami Damage
Log 96 Afraid of Living
Log 97 Living on the Edge
Log 98 Borneo Adventure
Log 99 Uligamu Tree Tender with Full Benefits
Log 100 God's Fireworks Display

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This web site is a companion to Outback and Beyond.com.