Eurasian Nightjars (Caprimulgus europaeus) caring the young

ZiegenmelkerThe dusk has already almost turned to darkness when an evocative churring, discreet purring song is heard over the heath south of Berlin. The rhythmic purr of the Eurasian Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus) drifts over heaths, moors and woods almost the whole night. From time to time it is increasing in volume, disappearing but only to catch up in volume again. The sounds hardly allow locating the nightjar but with patient the male can be seen to patrol its territory. Slow, excessive wing beats enhance the impression of an actor in a night theatre. It is beautiful to see the white markings on the tail edge and the primaries. Only a few moment, this event takes place; then the Nightjar has disappeared already in the adjacent ash grove.

In the meantime, the female of the European Nightjar has laid eggs on patches of bare ground and leaves. The timing of egg-laying is apparently sometimes synchronized with lunar phases in the Eurasian Nightjars. This is purportedly to maximize the amount of moonlight, and thus foraging efficiency while nestlings are developing. Research shows, however, that various other factors, such as weather and the time available for breeding, are important factors as well. Incubation and chick-care are undertaken almost exclusively by the female. Often however, she lays a second clutch after the first brood is approx. 10-15 days old. If so, the male takes care of the nestlings until they reach full independence 22 days later. The male Eurasian Nightjars is then helping to care the young of the second brood.

To cope with the growing demand for top shots of the rarer species of the Palearctic Bird-Lens is keen to enrich the range of pictures of birds you can find in the Western Palearctic. Trips to remote places or to common – but underestimated locations as described above – to capture images of rare birds of Western Palearctic were very successful. The nice images you find in the gallery are only a first impression, what you will find in the gallery in the “Picture Shop” very soon. Just give me a message, if could serve you with an image needed before the new pictures are online.

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