Bird Families

Japanese Nightjar / Caprimulgus jotaka

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Our author's teaching materials on ornithology and birds of Russia:
In our online store at non-commercial prices (at the cost of production)
can to acquire the following teaching materials on ornithology and birds of Russia:

computer digital (for PC-Windows) Keys to birds of Russia, containing descriptions and images of 206 species of birds of the middle lane (drawings of birds, silhouettes, nests, eggs and voices), as well as a computer program for identifying birds encountered in nature.
application for smartphones and tablets Android Field guide to Russian birds (you can buy it in the Google Play store),
iPhone and iPad applications: Birds of Russia, Birds of Europe, Russian Birds Voices, Bird Calls: Birds of Europe, Bird Calls: Birds of North America: Decoys, Field Automatic Bird Voice Recognition (all of them can be downloaded from the AppStore),
pocket field guides Birds of the middle lane (160 species), Birds of Russia (278 species),
colored identification tables Migratory birds, Wintering birds,
identification books of the series "Encyclopedia of the Nature of Russia": Birds, Pets,
MP3-disks with the voices of birds (songs, calls, calls): Voices of birds of central Russia (343 species) and Voices of birds of Russia, part 1: European part, Ural, Siberia (BN Veprintsev's music library, 450 species).

Squad Goat-like - Caprimulgiformes, Family Nightjars - Caprimulgidae, Genus Nightjars - Caprimulgus

Common nightjar, or night owl (obsolete) - Caprimulgus europaeus

Appearance. The tail has two large spots, white in males and red in females. The bottom wing has bright red stripes.

Vote. (Reload the page - F5 to listen to the voice again). The mating song of the male is a monotonous buzzing chirping, similar to the crackle of an electric engine: “errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. ”. At the end of this trill, the male often emits the characteristic “furr-furr-furr-furrruyu. ”. An inviting cry is also often heard: “weekend-weekend-weekend-weekend. ”, Very reminiscent of the voice of an owl. The female nightjar screams in the same way. Sometimes in flight the male flaps its wings loudly.

Habitat. Inhabits mixed and deciduous forests and shrubs.

Food. It feeds on insects.

Nesting places. The favorite nesting places of the nightjar are light, sparse pine forests, mixed forests and deciduous woodlands. It prefers to stay near clearings, forest clearings and along the edges of the forest.

Location of the nest. It nests on the ground.

The shape and size of the nest. Does not make a special nest. The eggs are laid directly on the soil, often on the needles, last year's foliage, the dust of a rotten tree. In the place where the eggs lie, a small depression forms as they incubate.

Features of masonry. Clutch of 2 eggs. The eggs are elliptical in shape with equally oval cones. The shell is smooth and shiny. The main background is porcelain white or grayish white. There are scattered spots on the background: deep light gray with blurred edges and superficial, sharply outlined gray with a brownish tint. Egg sizes: (28-36) x (20-24) mm.

Breeding dates. Arrives in late April - early May. The first clutches appear around mid-May, and the first chicks appear at the beginning of June. The first flying chicks are seen at the end of June. Young birds become completely independent at the end of July. The flight takes place from August to early October.

Spread. Distributed east to Transbaikalia. In recent years, nesting sites have been found in willow stands along the banks of mountain rivers near Tynda and in the “ash deserts” of Kamchatka.

Wintering. Wintering sites - South and South-East Africa.

Economic value. Nightjar is useful in that it exterminates many moths, whose caterpillars are harmful to forests and gardens.

Description of Buturlin. Sometimes in the middle or at the beginning of summer, when you wander through the sparse old forest, cluttered with fallen trees - windblow traces, with darkening here and there old stumps overgrown with moss, or crossing a felling area with whitewashed stacks of firewood, it happens unexpectedly strange bird. Cuddling against the bark, as if merging with the surface of the trunk, it sits completely motionless, and its speckled, speckled color surprisingly matches the color of the bark. The bird's eyes, which were almost closed and narrowed so tightly before that, sparkled: she probably noticed you - after all, you came close to her, six steps away. A beautiful dark eye looks intently, the bird is clearly alert, although not a single, even insignificant movement has detected excitement. One step closer - and the bird quickly, noiselessly flew up. Its long, sharp wings flapped softly and widely. Somehow dancing, twitching in the air, she rushed forward, then, spreading her wings, planning, sat down right there, in front of your eyes, on the nearest clutch of firewood, sat down and suddenly disappeared from sight: its protective color merged with the tone of the old bark and lichens.

Considering coloring a nightjar near, it must be admitted that this bird is very original and even beautiful. The nightjar is relatively small: the length of its body reaches 26 centimeters, the span of sharp and long wings is about 55 centimeters, the length of the tail is up to 12 centimeters. The body itself is small and puny, the nightjar seems to be larger due to the lush soft feather, the length of the wings and the relatively long tail. The back is brownish-buffy-gray, which is densely covered with small, darker and partly lighter spots and stripes. In addition, the plumage is painted with narrow dark-barreled lines, some of them have rusty stripes along the outer edges. This intricate pattern results in the formation of an unpaired dark stripe along the vertex and two longitudinal dark stripes on the shoulders. The upper tail coverts are gray with a pattern of dark zigzag lines. In the area of ​​the frenum, under the eye and on each side of the throat, there is a white elongated spot, which stands out beautifully against a gray-ocher speckled main background. A pale yellowish stripe runs in the area of ​​the shoulder feathers and is beautifully shaded from the inside with a black tone, a transverse pale strip is visible across the wing in the area of ​​the coverts. The lower part of the body is gray-ocher, with a pattern of small, darker transverse stripes.The two middle tail feathers are grayish, with a pattern of blackish transverse stripes and small dark gray specks. The rest of the tail feathers are buffy-reddish, with black transverse stripes and white tips. The male has three first large primary feathers with large pure white spots at the ends of the inner webs. By this feature, the male can be immediately distinguished from the female on the fly: females and young birds have no white spots, instead of these spots there are only dirty ocher marks.

Horny beak in the nightjar it is very small, narrow and short, but the oral cavity is unusually wide. If you open the mouth of a shot nightjar, then the width of its "mouth" is striking. Rows of long, relatively stiff black bristles sit along the edges of the mouth on both sides. Legs very short: due to their small length, the nightjar, sitting on the ground or on a tree branch, seems to be crouching to the ground. The middle toe on each paw is longer than the rest and is connected to both adjacent membranes up to the first joint; the small, inward-facing hind toe is free.

Nightjar has a very wide geographic Spread... It nests from the extreme west of Europe and northwestern Africa (Morocco) eastward to Lake Baikal and central parts of eastern Mongolia and the Gobi. To the north, the nesting area extends to 64 ° north latitude in Scandinavia and to the southern parts of Karelia. In the Urals, nesting sites of the nightjar were found up to 60 ° north latitude, then it spreads to Tyumen, Tomsk, Yeniseisk and Irkutsk. It is widely distributed throughout the south up to North Africa (Algeria, Tunisia), Asia Minor, Transcaucasia, Iran, Turkmenistan and northwestern India.

In the European part of Russia, the nightjar is especially fond of light, sparse forests, both coniferous (pine) and mixed (deciduous).

Nightjars arrive to us at different times, depending on the latitude of the area. In Turkmenistan, they are shown at the very end of March and at the beginning of April. At the end of April, these birds appear in the southern chernozem belt (near Kharkov - Voronezh). Near Moscow, migratory nightjars can be seen in the first half of May.

Pretty soon after arrival, the original begins singing this peculiar bird. Those who have once heard her amazing voice will never confuse the nightjar's song with the voices of other birds. The nightjar singing especially willingly perches on the branch of a dead tree, usually “half-tree” or on the lower branches, and begins its endless trill. It is difficult to convey it onomatopoeia: it sounds like an extremely drawn-out “tr-werr-werr-werr-werr, tr-tr-werr, werr-werr. “This rattling trill lasts from twenty seconds to several minutes and is heard far away in the twilight of a spring or summer evening. When the nightjar is inclined to finish the trill, he emits the characteristic “furr-furr-furr-furrruyuyu”. ”, One gets the impression that the singer did not have enough breath. Having finished the song, the male invariably takes off, and flaps his wings widely and just jumps and flinches in the air. At the same time, sharp pops are heard. They occur when the wings hit one another - over the back and under the abdomen. You can hear them for a whole quarter of a kilometer. One has to wonder how soft, like those of an owl, the wings of a nightjar can make such loud sounds when struck. At this moment, the nightjar makes an inviting cry: “weekend-weekend-weekend-weekend. ”, Very reminiscent of the voice of an owl. The female nightjar screams in the same way. Often she flies up to meet the singer, and both birds screaming screaming in the air. In those places where there are many nightjars, one has to observe the fights of the males, something like a real current.

As it was said, nightjars sing at dusk, until darkness falls on a spring or summer night. In the midst of the current, in spring, sometimes you can hear the beginning of the trill of this night owl even in the glare of the sun, but the singing male immediately falls silent. Nightjars sing for a very long time, their songs begin in spring shortly after arrival, gambling singing, flapping of wings and current can be observed in places where there are many nightjars, right up to the end of July and even up to the beginning of August.

Nightjars nest right on the ground. At the same time, they lay eggs simply on dry leaves and needles. Sometimes (in relatively rare cases), stalks of dry grass or wood dust underlie the laid eggs. If you approach the “nest” and frighten off the female, then the bird begins to fly very close, often sitting down on the ground. At such a moment of excitement, one does not hear her crackling cry, but only an abrupt, somewhat dull “weekend-weekend-weekend. ”.

Nightjar flies fast and silent. At dusk against the background of dawn, it is a real pleasure to follow its bizarre aerial evolutions. It then flies up, then somersaults in the air, then

leans and cleverly plans, almost without moving its wings. Here he rushes over the bushes along the dusty road. For a moment, the bird sits down on the ground, as if snuggling to it on its short legs. Here again the sharp wings flapped in the air, and the nightjar rushed forward swiftly, circling and as if dancing. The bird makes all these complex evolutions in pursuit and in search of insects.

Thanks to the wide-opening mouth, framed by the border of elastic bristles, the nightjar can grab nocturnal insects - beetles, butterflies, midges, mosquitoes and others on a fast fly.

Its absurd, in essence, name The bird received its "nightjars" on the basis of an old popular German belief: the nightjar was considered harmful and was credited with the ability to milk goats. It has long been known that several nightjars circle around grazing cattle, sitting at the very feet of cows, goats or sheep. At this time, the birds are busy hunting for insects that have gathered around the animals and near their droppings. This tendency of the nightjar to stay with the herds during their evening rest is the basis for the ridiculous legend.

Departure nightjars from the Moscow region occurs at the very end of August or at the beginning of September, nightjars hide from the southern black earth strip in September, the latter disappear even at the beginning of October.

To the east of Lake Baikal, in the Amur basin with its left tributaries, in the Ussuriysk Territory and Primorye, we have a brownish great nightjar. It is slightly larger than usual, but, apart from the peculiarities of color, it differs little from it. This species is abundant in meadows and weakly overgrown burnt areas in the forests of the Manchurian type.

In Central Asia, we have a grayish-sandy in color, similar in size to the usual Egyptian, or dunny, nightjar. In Transcaucasia, a case of the flight of the gray nightjar was noted.

Species descriptions taken from Keys to birds and bird nests in central Russia (Bogolyubov A.S., Zhdanova O.V., Kravchenko M.V. Moscow, "Ecosystem", 2006).

Our author's teaching materials on ornithology and birds of Russia:
In our online store at non-commercial prices (at the cost of production)
can to acquire the following teaching materials on ornithology and birds of Russia:

computer digital (for PC-Windows) Keys to birds of Russia, containing descriptions and images of 206 species of birds of the middle lane (drawings of birds, silhouettes, nests, eggs and voices), as well as a computer program for identifying birds encountered in nature.
application for smartphones and tablets Android Field guide to Russian birds (you can buy it in the Google Play store),
iPhone and iPad applications: Birds of Russia, Birds of Europe, Russian Birds Voices, Bird Calls: Birds of Europe, Bird Calls: Birds of North America: Decoys, Field Automatic Bird Voice Recognition (all of them can be downloaded from the AppStore),
pocket field guides Birds of the middle lane (160 species), Birds of Russia (278 species),
colored identification tables Migratory birds, Wintering birds,
identification books of the series "Encyclopedia of the Nature of Russia": Birds, Pets,
MP3-disks with the voices of birds (songs, calls, calls): Voices of birds of central Russia (343 species) and Voices of birds of Russia, part 1: European part, Ural, Siberia (BN Veprintsev's music library, 450 species).

In section Nature in photographs also hosted thousands scientific photographs mushrooms, lichens, plants and animals of Russia and the countries of the former USSR, and in the section Natural landscapes of the world - photographs of nature in Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand and Antarctica.

In section Methodical materials You can also get acquainted with the descriptions of the printed identifiers of plants of the middle lane, pocket identifiers of natural objects of the middle lane, identification tables "Mushrooms, plants and animals of Russia", computer (electronic) identifiers of natural objects, field identifiers for smartphones and tablets, developed by the ecological center "Ecosystem" , methodological manuals for organizing project activities of schoolchildren and field environmental research (including a book for teachers "How to organize a field environmental workshop"), as well as educational films on the organization of project research activities of schoolchildren in nature. Purchase all of these materials are available in our non-commercial online store. You can also purchase there mp3 discs Voices of birds of central Russia and Voices of birds of Russia, part 1: European part, Ural, Siberia.

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