Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus   [Linnaeus, 1758]

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Order: Caprimulgiformes Family: Caprimulgidae
BTO Codes: NJ, NIJAR EURING No: 7780
Number in Britain: 4600 Males (Summer)
Conservation Status:
UK: RED
European: 2 Concern, most in Europe; Depleted
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Migrant Breeder, Passage Visitor
Subspecies: europaeus recorded in Britain (of 6 subsp. in the world)
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Length: 27 cm Wingspan: 60 cm Weight: M/F: 83 g    
Scientific name from: L.: capra=goat + mulgere=to milk and after Europe
World Distribution: BREEDS: Europe, n&c Asia, nw Africa, WINTERS: tropical & s Africa
Habitat: Open country
Diet: Insects, esp. moths and beetles, taken from air following pursuit; nocturnal
TitBit: The notes that make up the nightjar's 'jar' or 'churr' are emitted at the rate of 30 or 40 per second.  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: BirdTrends   
Regional Trends: No regional trends available
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore   
British Population Size:
    Summer: 4600 Males in 2004
    First Record: Recorded in Medieval times
    Latest Survey: Conway, G. et al. (2007) Bird Study 54: 98-111
    Conservation Status: RED because Recent Breeding Range Decline (1969-2007)
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 RED     1996-2001 RED  
   Races of Concern: europaeus RED (Recent Decline)
UK Biodiversity Action Plan (Lead Partner: RSPB)
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    No habitat data from BBS
European Population Size:
    Summer: 370 to 700 thousand pairs
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: WBD(I), Bern(III), NERC (41)
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack
Results from Nightjar Survey 2004

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 32 x 22 mm Egg Weight: 8.4 g (of which 6 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 53   (more would be welcome!)
Clutch Size: 2 eggs 1.94 ± 0.25 (1 - 3) N = 461
Incubation: 18 days 18.12 ± 0.69 (17 - 19.5) N = 461   by the: Male + Female
Fledging: 18 - 19days 17.88 ± 1.10 (16 - 19.5) N = 695 as: Precocial, downy
Source:
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Nest Record Scheme data
First Clutches Laid: 23 Jun (23 May - 23 Jul)
Number of Broods: 1-2
See trends in Breeding Productivity
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.700 ± 0.050       
Juvenile Survival: No data
Age at First Breeding: 1 year Typical Lifespan: 4 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 12 years 1 months 13 days (set in 2012)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries

Biometrics

Ring Size: C
Wing Length Adult: 196.1 ± 5.3 Range 187 - 204 mm, N =426
Juvenile: 188.9 ± 8.6 173 - 200 mm, N =81
Male: 196.1 ± 5.1 188 - 204 mm, N =323
Female: 196.3 ± 6.0 185 - 205.5 mm, N =100
Weight Adult: 73.26 ± 7.45 Range 63.00 - 88.00 g , N =363
Juvenile: 70.77 ± 8.37 60.00 - 83.00 g , N =81
Male: 71.92 ± 7.00 62.00 - 86.00 g , N =278
Female: 77.71 ± 7.32 66.00 - 90.00 g , N =82
Source:
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

European Nightjar
Gaelic: Seabhag-oidhche Welsh: Troellwr
Danish: Natravn Dutch: Nachtzwaluw
Finnish: Kehrääjä French: Engoulevent d´Europe
German: Ziegenmelker Hungarian: Lappantyú
Icelandic: Náttfari Irish: Tuirne Lín
Italian: Succiacapre Norwegian: Nattravn
Polish: Lelek zwyczajny Portuguese: Noitibó da Europa
Spanish: Chotacabras gris Swedish: Nattskärra
Local Names: Dor-hawk, Fern Owl

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Holyoak, D.T. 2001 Nightjars and their allies Oxford University Press [598.72 HOL]
   Tate, P. 1989 The Nightjar Shire Publications, Princes Risborough [Jour: S]
See Also:
Find scientific papers on Google Scholar or Scirus by clicking the icon
Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides