Bird Families

The American White-chinned Nightjar is a nocturnal bird from the family of true nightjars that lives in North America

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In the book version

Volume 14. Moscow, 2009, p. 427

Copy bibliographic reference:

Real goats (Caprimulgidae), the largest family of birds, ref. goat-like. Length 15–41 cm (up to 80 cm in some species with unusually elongated tail feathers), weight from 30 (dwarf nightjar, Chordeiles pusillus) to 150 g (large eared nightjar, Eurostopodus macrotis). The beak is flexible, the nostrils are in horny tubes. The pharynx is wide, in the corners of the mouth of most K. there are long elastic bristles. The wings are usually long, sharp, the tail is different. length and shape. The legs are short, weak, the tarsus is partially feathered, the outer toe is not retracted, the claw of the middle toe has lateral serrations. The color of the plumage varies from almost black to yellowish-gray with dark and light stripes, spots and strokes; they form a complex variegated pattern that merges with the bark of trees or soil. A number of species have gray and red morphs. Males are somewhat larger than females; they are often distinguished by large white spots on the tops of the flight and tail feathers, as well as sharply elongated decorating feathers in the wings and tail. The flight is easy, noiseless, the birds move on the ground with difficulty. Most K. live settled in the tropics. belt, few migratory species nest in temperate latitudes (to the north up to 60 ° –64 ° N), are absent on the b. h. East. Siberia, New Zealand and many oceans. islands. Some of the white-chinned nightjar (Phalaenoptilus nuttallii) nesting in the West. states of the United States, spends the winter in crevices of rocks and cliffs, falling into a daze. At the same time, the body temperature of birds decreases from 41 to 18 ° C. Short-term numbness during a sharp cold snap is also known in other members of the family. K. settle in forests, steppes and deserts, on the plain and in the mountains (up to a height of 3300 m), prefer sparse tree and shrub plantations, alternating with open spaces. 3 subfamilies: American K. (Chordeilinae, 4 genera, 10 species), South Asian, or eared, K. (Eurostopodinae, 1 genus, 7 species) and real K. (Caprimulginae, 11 genera, approx. 72 species). In Russia, 2 types are widespread. The common nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus) nests from the west. borders of the country to Transbaikalia. Length 25-28 cm, weight 65-100 g. Plumage brownish-gray with longitudinal dark streaks and 2 white spots on the sides of the throat. Ch. arr. on the edges and clearings. Winters in South. Africa and India. It feeds on preim. nocturnal insects (especially butterflies and beetles), which it catches in the air. The popular name "nightjar" is associated with the frequent appearance of birds at dusk near herds, where they are attracted by the abundance of disturbed insects. Nests are not built, the female lays 2 eggs (rarely 3) on the ground or on a tree stump. Both parents incubate for 17–18 days, chicks acquire the ability to fly at the age of 16–17 days. In the south of the range there are 2 broods per season. Big nightjar ( Caprimulgus indicus ) lives in the South-East. Siberia and South. Primorye.

American white-chinned nightjar

The American White-chinned Nightjar is a nocturnal bird from the family of true nightjars that lives in North America. The specific name is given in honor of the English zoologist Thomas Nuttall.

Distributed in the western part of the mainland from British Columbia and southeastern Alberta south to central Mexico. Habitats - arid open spaces covered with grass or shrubs: prairies, shrub thickets, clearings, as well as rocky deserts with sparse vegetation. At night, he can often be found along the roadsides, where he loves to hunt.

Partially migratory, the propensity to migrate increases with latitude. In the cold season, some of the birds migrate south to the central and western regions of Mexico, while remaining within the nesting area, the other part remains in place or moves a short distance. A unique feature among birds of the American white-chinned nightjar is the ability to go into a daze, a state close to hibernation, in the event of a lack of food, which can last for weeks or even months. In this state, the bird usually hides in piles of stones, where it is impossible to notice it even at close range. This behavior was noted in the desert regions of the southern United States - in California and New Mexico.

This is the smallest representative of North American nightjars: the length of an adult bird is 19 - 21 cm, a wingspan of about 30 cm, weight 36 - 55 g. Both sexes have ocher plumage with a dense mottled pattern of gray and black spots. On the neck there is a whitish collar of feathers, separating the blackish throat from the motley head. Wings and tail with rounded edges, tail coverts with white spots, more pronounced in males. By the nature of the flight, it resembles a gigantic moth. The cry is two-syllable, sometimes it is conveyed by the words "poo-wilk".

It feeds on insects that it pursues in the air. Its common prey is moths, beetles, crickets and grasshoppers. Sometimes it collects insects from the surface of the earth. Like owls, it regurgitates pellets of indigestible food debris called pellets.

Breeds from March to August in the southern part of the range, from late May to September in the north. Usually one clutch per season, although the female can re-lay up to 100 m from the original nest while the male feeds the first brood. The nest is a shallow hole in the ground, often at the foot of a hill under the cover of a bush or a bunch of tall grass. In clutch there are usually 2 eggs of white, cream or pinkish color, sometimes with dark specks. Both members of the couple incubate for 20 - 21 days. The birds, disturbed at this time, open their mouths wide and hiss, imitating the sounds of a snake. Chicks of the semi-hatching type, when hatching are covered with down, become flightable at the age of 20 - 23 days.

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