Particularly important characters to adjudicate are: A medium-sized nightjar with a large head, broad shoulders and thick neck, giving it a “bull-necked” look. This methodology has given rise to a number of dichotomous identification keys e.g. In general, Rufous-cheeked is a warmer, richer-coloured bird, whereas European has cooler greyer colour tones. New birds in Southern Africa: A tale of two lists, Faansie’s Bird Book – a fully fledged field guide…for kids. In extreme cases, males may show white patches on the six outermost primaries (P5-P10). The fiery-necked nightjar (Caprimulgus pectoralis) is a species of nightjar in the family Caprimulgidae, which occurs in Africa south of the equator. Migratory species (e.g. Freckled: Males recall Fiery-necked in having very extensive white patches on T4 and T5, and in having the outer webs and often the tip of the inner web mottled darker (“dirty corners”). Primary projection short. P10 has a prominent white spot on the inner web. European (both sexes) also has yellower buff flecks on the surfaces of the flight feathers, and these irregular bars extend further along the lengths of the primaries. Female Europeans, that lack tail and wing spots, can easily be mistaken for female Pennant-winged, which is similar in size and wing length. The hind-neck collar is broader and less yellowish than in Square-tailed, and the ear-coverts are darker and richer rufous. (1985), “nightjar identification is as much a matter of fortune as of effort or knowledge; all species are essentially crepuscular and observation is difficult even in occasional diurnal discoveries, as the birds use astonishingly cryptic plumage to disappear against many backgrounds, even at point-blank range”. In addition to the scapulars, wing spots and tail spots, a number of other relatively easily visible plumage features can help birders identify nightjars. Additionally, characters such as wing length, length of the emargination on the outer web of the ninth primary (P9), position of P9 spot relative to the emargination, relative ratios of the primaries and rectrices, and even bill and foot length may need to be examined. In darker individuals the mantle is more prominently mottled and streaked, thus reducing the contrast with the dark scapular patches. Freckled Nightjars are large and powerfully built, with long wings but relatively short tails. Both species show a dark “shoulder” patch on the lesser coverts, but this patch is generally plainer (less freckled), overall darker and more pronounced in European. May perch on shrubs or posts (Hockey et al. They lack white or buff markings on the wings and tail, but the flight feathers are boldly barred with rufous-red and black throughout. Males have large, rounded, approximately equal-sized white patches on the inner webs of three feathers, P8-P10. European tends to have a more striking, broader and longer white submoustachial stripe, that broadens markedly towards the back and sometimes even forms a distinct spatulate shape; the white submoustachial stripe is much less pronounced in Rufous-cheeked. Rufous-cheeked: This species has relatively small patches on T4 and T5, almost equal in size. Juvenile plumage is not retained for long, and the partial moult into adult plumage may begin within a few weeks or at most a few months after leaving the nest (Holyoak, 2001), and even as early as at c. 50 day old in Square-tailed Nightjars (Cleere & Nurney, 1998). In fact, many dark males seem to lack white spots on the folded wing completely, or show only one spot on P8. (2005). Boasting river views, The Nightjar offers accommodation with a garden and a balcony, around 11.2 miles from St Croix Island Marine Reserve. The crown feathers are black with rufous edges. the distance that the primaries project beyond the tips of the tertials on the folded wing (see Fig. Seeing 302 species in 24 hours. A large, long-winged migrant that is widespread in lightly wooded habitats, and may even roost in plantations and gardens in urban areas. The pennant-winged nightjar (Caprimulgus vexillarius) is a species of nightjar that occurs from Nigeria to northern South Africa. Its distinctive and frequently uttered call is rendered as 'good-lord-deliver-us'. On the darkest birds (mostly europaeus), the cream outer colour is darker and richer, thus contrasting less with the black feather centre; also, because of the generally darker dorsal plumage, the black oval patches are less striking. Confusion risks: Distribution and habitat overlaps widely with the migratory Rufous-cheeked, which is usually the main confusion species. Uniquely, the bases of the rictal bristles are white (see Fig. Swamp has less extensive white/buff on the primaries (none on P6 or P5). The bird is an intra-African breeding migrant that moves down to South Africa from Central and West Africa. 1,508 likes. 2005). Juvenile plumage is undocumented or only described very superficially in most Afrotropical nightjars, and few museum specimens are available. In terms of plumage, differences are very subtle. African Pitta (local); Spoon-billed Sandpiper (world). Although most species have very similar patterns, the more pointed wing of European is notable in Fig. On Fiery-necked the white wing spots are situated right on the emarginated feather edges, which gives the spots a pinched looks (spots are situated proximal to the emargination and thus appear broader in Rufous-cheeked). At night, e.g. Currently you have JavaScript disabled. More pointed wing of European is notable in Fig but have richer rufous instead of white bigger! 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