Migratory bird that also breeds widely and in big numbers in Cyprus, including the Akamas peninsula. It overwinters in sub-Saharan Africa (central-western and central-southeastern) and breeds in a big part of Europe, NW Africa and a large part of Asia (western to almost southeastern).
A nocturnal insectivore species, active from dusk till dawn. It feeds on flying insects hunting them with a silent flight and sudden changes in speed and direction, often interrupted with short hovering. Its shape when in flight resembles that of falcons.
Its voice is very special and interesting, with song being a continuous and alternating at times ‘rouiiiii’ that can be heard at a great distance in the night. Colors dark earth like, with the male having white marks near the tip of the wings and on the edges of the tail. Its mouth is large (compared to its size) with a small beak that has hair on its base, that helps it to sense and trap its prey with ease in flight. It prefers areas with not very dense forests, or more open areas with bushes and sparse trees. During the day it rests on branches or other spots close to the ground, on the ground or on trees, with its camouflage making it practically invisible.