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Nightjar, Square-tailed (Mozambique)

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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deefstes
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby deefstes » Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:49 am

DotDan wrote:Something I would like to try and find out is what Nightjar is the most common around Southern Kruger? Just out of curiosity. My bet would probably be Sqaure Tailed? I have seen them up in Punda, Satara and now all over LS. So if that is the case, then just like the African Pipit, one should probably have that mentality of "Why is it not a Square Tailed"


I would suggest that the more common Nightjar in southern Kruger is Fiery-necked while in northern Kruger the Square-tailed reigns supreme. Of course this is just from my personal experience but, as it happens, I've found myself on a variety of night drives in various parts of Kruger in recent times.

Recently (WRHR birding weekend) at Biyamithi, during the three night drives with four vehicles each going their own routes, we recorded a fair number of Fiery-necked Nightjars but only one vehicle recorded one Square-tailed on one of the three night drives. I personally didn't see any Square-tails over the entire weekend.

Three weeks later we were in the Berg-en-Dal area and did two night drives on two consecutive nights. Again, the majority of Nightjars recorded were Fiery-necked with only three sightings of Square-tail and one sighting of Freckled.

In northern Kruger of course, Rufous-cheeked gets added to the mix although they are few and far between compared to Square-tailed and Fiery-necked. Oh and of course that pesky Pennant-winged Nightjar that keeps coming in the way :twisted: However, my recollection is that on night drives from Pafuri, Punda, Shingwedzi, Satara and Letaba, the dominant species was Square-tailed.
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Lizet Grobbelaar
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Lizet Grobbelaar » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:55 am

Deefstes,
Sorry but maybe I have it all wrong, but I thought the bottomline spots is on the secondaries? Will you call that then rather the greater wingcoverts? On what is the top row above them then on? :hmz:

The lines that I pointed out was spesifically to ID Square-tailed. All three lines are very obvious and bold in STNJ. All my STNJ pics that I've ever taken show these 3 lines very clearly and it was just on my own experience that I showed it to DD, but I consider all three together..

When I look at a nightjar I don't just consider these lines to make an ID, I take an overall view of it, like the Fiery-necked you have other features to distingish it from ST as the rufous lores, cheeks and the rufous that stretches down to the breast then the lines don't even matter...and with Rufous-cheeked the bird is normally an overall greyish bird with the spots here and there on the wings and fine black streaking on the grey....etc.

DD, did you have your bins on the birds and were the spotlight on the birds when they flew off? Just asking... :twisted:
Last edited by Lizet Grobbelaar on Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Dabchick » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:02 am

deefstes wrote:
Dabchick wrote:...but because I can't ID night jars (except for european perching on a branch :twisted: )...


Careful Dabchick, while the habit of European Nightjars perching lengthwise on branches are often cited, it's by no means diagnostic. I've seen Fiery-necks and Square-tails doing that as well (and I have no reason to believe that Rufous-cheeked won't also) and I've also seen Europeans sitting on the road just like you'd expect to see others.


:shock: :slap:

:hmz: okay, now it's official - I know zilch about id-ing night jars :? ... I'll watch the discussion here between the experts with great interest....

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby deefstes » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:19 am

Lizet Grobbelaar wrote:Deefstes,
Sorry but maybe I have it all wrong,

Or maybe I have it all wrong :D

Lizet Grobbelaar wrote:but I thought the bottomline spots is on the secondaries? Will you call that then rather the greater wingcoverts? On what is the top row above them then on? :hmz:

I'll be the first to admit that bird anatomy never makes as much sense to me when I see a real bird as compared to a drawing. I would have thought the feathers on which the top row of spots are would be the 'median coverts'. But as I said, I might have it all wrong.

Lizet Grobbelaar wrote:The lines that I pointed out was spesifically to ID Square-tailed. All three lines are very obvious and bold in STNJ. All my STNJ pics that I've ever taken show these 3 lines very clearly and it was just on my own experience that I showed it to DD, but I consider all three together..

Fair enough. Let me just reiterate that I'm not challenging your identification, I merely want to make sure I understand how you arrive at it so that I can use it next time round.

I'd have to be honest that I've never really had to bother to understand the wing spots of STNJ seeing as the white outer tail feathers and trailing edge to the wing in flight is pretty much a dead giveaway. And if they weren't flying they soon would :D
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:40 am

Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us Deefstes and Lizet. Very interesting stuff you two are teaching us here. :thumbs_up:
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Lizet Grobbelaar » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:53 pm

Deefstes,
I had a proper look at the layout in "Nocturnal Birds" and you are in fact right about the wing coverts. The secondaries are another row down as shown here on this Square-tailed but when visible it shows this pale line...

ImageFemale Square-tailed Nightjar.

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Maxwell » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:12 pm

That's one nice picture there. Never seen a Nightjar's feet before.
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby deefstes » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:17 pm

Lizet Grobbelaar wrote:Deefstes,
I had a proper look at the layout in "Nocturnal Birds" and you are in fact right about the wing coverts. The secondaries are another row down as shown here on this Square-tailed but when visible it shows this pale line...

ImageFemale Square-tailed Nightjar.


Thanks Lizet, nice to be able to put that question to bed. And yes, that is a lovely picture.
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby DotDan » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:28 am

Ok I am very sure about this guy being a Fiery-Necked Nightjar seen on the S100 in Satara.

It isn't European, we saw plenty of them there and the pure size and colouration difference rules them out.

No white outer tail feathers or distinct white covert panels on the wings, which in my opinion rules out Square Tailed.

Image

Image


Here is an European seen on the same road:

Image

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:16 am

Really trying hard to manufacture another lifer, hey Daan? :)
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby DotDan » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:19 am

:lol:

At least I want to make sure of my ID before just adding it to me life list. :D

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:41 am

I have two problems with this particular bird in trying to turn it into a Fiery-necked. The angle doesn't show the extend of the neck, but I can't see the rufous collar extending all around the neck.

I also seem to see buff colouration along the outer part of the tail feathers, especially high up along the bird's tail.

I would lean towards female Square-tailed here.
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Re: Nightjar: Mozambique

Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:59 am

Image

Image
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Re: Nightjar: Mozambique

Unread postby Lizet Grobbelaar » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:11 pm

Nice shots WTM.

PS I think the NJ you posted in 2007 is a Fiery-necked...
Image

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Re: Nightjar: Mozambique

Unread postby DotDan » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:21 pm

:twisted:


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