Sources : Nepa

Thomas of Cantimpré [circa 1200-1272 CE] (Liber de natura rerum, Birds 5.93): Nepa is a bird called in French orbegelina, as if "hen of darkness" [obscuritatis gallina], having its name from this fact. It is about the size of a partridge. It has a long beak, with which it digs deep into the earth seeking worms food, and if at any time it is not able to get out easily, with its beak embedded deeper into the earth, it uses its feet, and by their efforts dislodges the dirt in which it had stuck its beak, so it frees itself and flies into the air. During the day the bird rests in hiding, but in the evening and early in the morning it flies through the air, whence at those same hours they are caught, and this through wide nets suspended high up above the ground, which are suddenly released by ropes. It is like a partridge in color on the back, and on the chest like sparrowhawk [nisus]. It is said to not live in England and some other countries. The nepa has a hole in its head almost from ear to ear, so that its eyes are readily available [?]. It puts its ear to the ground and hears the gnawing worm. - [Badke translation/paraphrase]