Sickle-winged Nightjar in Arroyo el Palmar

Sichelschwingen-Nachtschwalbe oder Sichel-NachtschwalbeThe first evening in the Parque Nacional El Palmar just should bring a pair of sunset palm photos. Suddenly I see a nightjar on the road. A little further on, more can be seen in the pale light. The eyes shone in the headlights. One oft he nightjars is ready to accept a photo and let itself be approached up to 10m. Only later research at home reveals, however, that I really photographed a special. It is the Sickle-winged Nightjar (Eleothreptus anomalus) which I found in the Arroyo el Palmar. Like all nightjars, it is cryptically patterned. Its plumage is dominated by shades of gray and brown. The Sickle-winged Nightjar is a relatively small, strikingly large-headed and short-tailed nightjar with pale, cinnamon-colored plumage. The male has a remarkable wing shape. The bird might be a female. It lacks the white tips of the elongated tail feathers.  Interestingly, the Sickle-winged Nightjar is related to the White-winged Nightjar (Eleothreptus candicans), also known as Caprimulgus candicans. This species of the Cerrado biome has similar characteristics such as pale, cinnamon-colored plumage, outer tail feathers that curve slightly inward, a short tail, and a broad bill surrounded by long bristles. Identification problems tend not to occur with the White-winged Nightjar. Above all, male White-winged Nightjars can be easily distinguished by the extensive white on their wings.

As I see only in the year 2021 – and thus more than 20 years later – in the post-processing of the tour that, at that time, no slide had framed at all. But the photos are not so bad. And this nightjar is really a top bird. The Sickle-winged Nightjar is a very characteristic, but rare and hardly known species. It is reported from a variety of habitats, from marshes and wet grasslands to gallery forests, and yet is only locally and rarely encountered. This suggests that its habitat requirements are not yet well understood. However, it may simply have seasonally different habitats. Its geographic range has also not been precisely delineated, especially with respect to core areas, i.e., areas where it does and does not breed. Particularly information is lacking on the process of breeding, breeding season, territorial behavior and population density, dispersal, age and survival, molt and any geographic variation that may exist.

NP el Palmar ist he top site to encounter Sickle-winged Nightjar in Argentina. The NP el Palmar can be reached from Buenos Aires after a 4 hours drive. The distance is about 350 km. There is a park entrance and the whole facilities make a very professional impression.

El Palmar National Park covers an area of 8500 hectares in the east of the state of Entre Ríos. The park is intended to protect the yatay palm (Butia yatay), also known as the yatay jelly palm, which is an indigenous palm species that can live between 200 and 400 years. The palm is known for its yellow flowers and a delicious sweet fruit that is mainly used for making liquors. This park was created in 1966 with the aim of protecting one of the last palm groves of Yatay, representative of the palm groves that thrived until the end of the last century, mainly in the east of Entre Ríos

Bird-lens is first and foremost a website designed to meet the growing demand for high quality photographs of the birds of the Western Palearctic. In order to satisfy the demand for top-quality photographs of rare bird species, has also made targeted trips to distant places such as Asia, Africa and South America. All this in order to be able to take excellent photos of birds. The yield of pictures not only of rare Western Palearctic birds is very good. This rare image of the blog is only a first impression, what you can find in behind the tab “Picture-Shop” very soon. Just leave a message if can serve with a picture.

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