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First description of the eggs, chick, and nest site of the White-winged Nightjar Eleothreptus candicans

First description of the eggs, chick, and nest site of the White-winged Nightjar Eleothreptus... Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(2), 215-218 ARTICLE June 2014 First description of the eggs, chick, and nest site of the White-winged Nightjar Eleothreptus candicans 1,4 2 3 Robert Clay , Juan Mazar Barnett and Estela Esquivel WHSRN Executive Office, Gaetano Martino 215, Asunción, Paraguay. E-mail: rclay@manomet.org Deceased. E-mail: eze_soares@yahoo.com.ar Corresponding author: rclay@manomet.org Received on 6 April 2014. Accepted on 5 June 2014. ABSTRACT: We provide the first description of the nest site, eggs, and chick of the globally threatened White-winged Nightjar Eleothreptus candicans, based on observations in Aguara Ñu, Mbaracayú Forest Nature Reserve, Paraguay, made during November- December 1997. Two eggs were laid directly on the ground at the edge of a small clearing in campo-sujo grassland. Only the female appeared to attend the nest, undertaking a distraction display when the nest site was closely approached. Just one egg hatched, after a period of at least 16 days. KEY WORDS: Caprimulgidae, Cerrado, distraction display, parental care, Paraguay. INTRODUCTION mí—and contains 5,487 ha of Cerrado habitats (a mosaic of deciduous and gallery forest, savannas, and grasslands). The White-winged Nightjar Eleothreptus candicans is one The variety of Cerrado habitats in Aguara Ñu includes of the rarest caprimulgids in the Americas, considered campo-sujo grasslands with scattered Yata’i palms (Butia Endangered by BirdLife International (2013). Until paraguayensis), dense Yata’i campo cerrado, wet grasslands and marshes, xerophytic woodlands and gallery forest. recently, White-winged Nightjar was also one of the least known of Neotropical caprimulgids. Cleere and Nurney The southern border of the plateau is formed by a series (1998) considered the adult female plumage, chick, of low ridgelines separated by valleys whose floors contain nest site, and eggs to be unknown. A population of the saturated grasslands around small water courses which species was discovered at Aguara Ñu, Mbaracayú Forest run into the Arroyo Guyrakeha. Palm density is highest on the center of the plateau and along the crests of the Nature Reserve in 1995 (Lowen et al. 1997), and studies there have documented the female plumage (Capper ridgelines. On ridge slopes the campo grassland is more et al. 2000), male display behavior (Clay et al. 2000), open, with few palms. and breeding biology (Pople 2014). Here we provide At 2030 h on 22 November 1997, EZE flushed a details of the first known nest site, eggs, and chick of caprimulgid from an area of campo-sujo grassland on the southern edge of Aguara Ñu. On searching, two eggs the species. These were previously briefly summarized in Cleere (1999), with additional data presented in Pople were found on bare ground, partially concealed by the (2003). surrounding vegetation. On 23 November, JMB, RPC, and EZE returned to the nest and were able to confirm The study site and methods the identity of the incubating bird as a female White- winged Nightjar. The bird was identified as this species due to the head and upperpart plumage being similar to From July-December 1997 we undertook a study of the that of adult male White-winged Nightjar. Previously White-winged Nightjar population at the Mbaracayú (on 21 November) a gravid White-winged Nightjar was Forest Nature Reserve, located in an area of palm savanna caught, confirming the plumage to be that of a breeding known as Aguara Ñu (see Clay et al. 1998). Aguara Ñu female. Intermittent observations were conducted at the (centered on 24°10’S, 55°16’W) is a low plateau bordered nest during November and December. by two rivers—the Arroyo Guyrakeha and the Río Jejui- First description of the eggs, chick, and nest site of the White-winged Nightjar Eleothreptus candicans Robert Clay, Juan Mazar Barnett and Estela Esquivel Description of the nest site and location Description of the eggs As with other Caprimulgid species, no nest was The two eggs measured: 28.9 mm x 21.4 mm and constructed, with the two eggs laid on an area of bare 28.7 mm x 21.3 mm, with weights of 7.6 g and 7.5 g, earth, of total diameter approximately 30 cm. This respectively. Both eggs were quite uniform in width, pale patch of earth was largely exposed from above, although creamy-brown in color, and with a fairly uniform light the eggs were placed to one side, partially covered by a covering of darker brown and some greyer speckling. The small herb Mimosa dollens (Figure 1). The surrounding slightly larger egg had uniform spotting over its whole vegetation was primarily herbaceous and 30-50 cm in surface, with grey spots and speckles overlaid with small height, with Campomanesia adamantium (Myrtaceae) dark brown spots. The slightly smaller egg had larger among the dominant species. spots concentrated at the obtuse end, and fine elongated The nest site was located just above the head of a spots at the acute end (Figure 3). small valley in campo-sujo grassland on a slope of 8°, and an aspect of 220°. The general area had a relatively higher density of Yata’i palms compared to adjacent male display arenas (see Clay et al. 2000), or the pure grasslands of the valley sides and bottom. However, the nest site was located in a small clearing amongst the palms, with only 14 Yata’i palms and 4 saplings within a radius of 14 m of the nest-site (Figure 2). Of the 14 palms, 11 were less than 1.5 m in height, and all were under 2 m. There was also a comparatively high density of dicot herbs in the campo-sujo of this area. FIGURE 3. Eleothrepus candicans egg (Photo: Juan Mazar Barnett) Observations at the nest During November, diurnal checks were made on the nest during the morning of 23 November, and the afternoons of 27 and 29 November. On all three days, the female was found to be present at the nest (although not always incubating the eggs). The nest was also watched on the evenings of the 25, 26, and 27 November. On all three nights, only the female was observed attending the nest, and no males were even seen in its vicinity. On the 26 November, the female was not present at the nest prior FIGURE 1. View from above of Eleothreptus candicans nest-site to dusk, arriving 27 minutes later and shortly prior to the (Photo: Juan Mazar Barnett) onset of rain. Initially, the female sat in front of the eggs (apparently after first moving them), but as the intensity of the rain increased she gradually moved to cover, first one, and then both the eggs. On the 27 November, ten minutes after the incubating female left the nest, a female was caught approximately 100 m from the nest site (at 2030 h). This bird was banded, and a black mark made on her rectrices to enable identification in the field. At 2300 h this same female was found close to the nest, when she performed an apparent injury-feigning distraction display. The display consisted of the bird rapidly moving away from the nest through and over the vegetation, with much wing flapping. Once away from the nest, the female flew FIGURE 2. Immediate surroundings of Eleothreptus candicans nest- site (Photo: Juan Mazar Barnett) up high, with strong, powerful wing beats, and circled Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(2), 2014 First description of the eggs, chick, and nest site of the White-winged Nightjar Eleothreptus candicans Robert Clay, Juan Mazar Barnett and Estela Esquivel back around toward the nest. On the afternoon of the on the crown, giving a slightly capped appearance, whilst 29 November, this same female was observed incubating the flanks and vent were a paler grey-brown. The irises the eggs. Similar distraction displays were also observed were dark brown, and the bill blackish. during the daytime, especially once a single chick Due to inclement weather, no visits had been made hatched, when they became more frequent and vigorous. to the nest site in the days prior to 10 December, but the The typical daytime reaction was for the female to jump hatching date was estimated to be 7-8 December (judged forward, outstretching its wings and fanning its tail. from the development of the chick when first found). This suggests an incubation period of at least 16 days, which Description of chick falls within the 16-22 days of most other Caprimulgidae species (Cleere 1999). A recently fledged juvenile was By 10 December, one of the eggs had hatched and a observed in the vicinity of the nest site during early young chick was present. Although the second egg was January (Figure 5). still present, it did not hatch in the subsequent days and The observations of female only parental-care, was presumed infertile. A description of chick was taken combined with the apparent clustering of male display the day after its discovery (when it was believed to be territories led to Clay et al. (2000) suggesting that the two to three days old). The down feathers were largely Aguara Ñu population of White-winged Nightjars might uniform dark brown, with inconspicuous buffy-brown exhibit a lek or “landmark” mating system, a hypothesis and cinnamon spots (Figure 4). The spotting was densest further supported by the studies of Pople (2003, 2014). Documentation of White-winged Nightjar nesting habitat has been a key factor in informing management recommendations for the Cerrado at Aguara Ñu, which is threatened by too frequent burns and exotic invasive grasses (both spreading into the reserve from neighboring properties; Capper et al. 2000). ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Allocation of White-winged Nightjar to the genus Eleothreptus is somewhat contentious, but is used here in memory of Juan, with whom we first realized the morphological and plumage similarities between E. candicans and Sickle-winged Nightjar E. anomalus. Permission to work within the Mbaracayú Forest Nature FIGURE 4. Two to three days old Eleothreptus candicans chick (Photo: Reserve was kindly granted by the Comité de Asuntos Juan Mazar Barnett) Científicos of the Fundación Moisés Bertoni (FMB). Thanks are also due to several other FMB staff (current and former), particularly Alberto Yanosky, René Palacios, Claudia Mercolli, and Tito Fernández. The reviewers, Marcelo Ferreira de Vasconcelos, Catherine Bechtoldt and Luciano Naka provided comments that greatly improved the manuscript. REFERENCES BirdLife International. 2013. Species factsheet: Eleothreptus candicans. www.birdlife.org (access on 3 December 2013). Capper, D. R.; Esquivel, E. Z.; Pople, R. G.; Burfield, I. J.; Clay, R. P.; Kennedy, C. P.; & Mazar Barnett, J. 2000. Surveys and recommendations for the management of Aguará Ñu in the Reserva Natural del Bosque Mbaracayú, eastern Paraguay. Unpublished report for the Fundación Moisés Bertoni, Asunción, Paraguay. Clay, R. P.; Capper, D. R.; Mazar Barnett, J.; Burfield, I. J.; Esquivel, E. Z.; Fariña, R.; Kennedy, C. P.; Perrens, M.; & FIGURE 5. Female and juvenile Eleothreptus candicans at nest-site, Pople, R. G. 1998. White-winged Nightjars Caprimulgus about one month after hatching (Photo: Juan Mazar Barnett) Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(2), 2014 First description of the eggs, chick, and nest site of the White-winged Nightjar Eleothreptus candicans Robert Clay, Juan Mazar Barnett and Estela Esquivel candicans and Cerrado conservation: the key findings of Project Brooks, T. M.; Esquivel, E. Z. & Reid, J. M. 1997. New and Aguara Ñu ’97. Cotinga, 9: 52-56. noteworthy observations on the Paraguayan avifauna. Bulletin of Clay, R. P.; López Lanús, B.; Tobias, J. A.; Mazar Barnett, J. & the British Ornithologists’ Club, 117: 275-293. Lowen, J. C. 2000. The display of the White-winged Nightjar. Pople, R. G. 2003. The ecology and conservation of the White-winged Journal Field Ornithology, 71(4): 619-626. Nightjar Caprimulgus candicans. Ph.D. dissertation. Cambridge, Cleere, N. 1999. Family Caprimulgidae (Nightjars), p. 302-386. In: United Kingdom: University of Cambridge. Available online at del Hoyo, J.; Elliot, A.; & Sargatal, J. (eds.). Handbook of the www.dspace.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/225237. birds of the world, v. 5. Barn-owls to Hummingbirds. Barcelona, Pople, R. G. 2014. Breeding biology of the White-winged Nightjar Spain: Lynx Edicions. (Eleothreptus candicans) in eastern Paraguay. Revista Brasileira de Cleere, N. & Nurney, D. 1998. Nightjars: a guide to nightjars and Ornitologia. related nightbirds. Sussex, United Kingdom: Pica Press. Lowen, J. C.; Clay, R. P.; Mazar Barnett, J.; Madroño Ñieto, A.; Pearman, M.; López Lanús, B.; Tobias, J. A.; Liley, D. C.; Associate Editor: Luciano N. Naka Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(2), 2014 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ornithology Research Springer Journals

First description of the eggs, chick, and nest site of the White-winged Nightjar Eleothreptus candicans

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Abstract

Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(2), 215-218 ARTICLE June 2014 First description of the eggs, chick, and nest site of the White-winged Nightjar Eleothreptus candicans 1,4 2 3 Robert Clay , Juan Mazar Barnett and Estela Esquivel WHSRN Executive Office, Gaetano Martino 215, Asunción, Paraguay. E-mail: rclay@manomet.org Deceased. E-mail: eze_soares@yahoo.com.ar Corresponding author: rclay@manomet.org Received on 6 April 2014. Accepted on 5 June 2014. ABSTRACT: We provide the first description of the nest site, eggs, and chick of the globally threatened White-winged Nightjar Eleothreptus candicans, based on observations in Aguara Ñu, Mbaracayú Forest Nature Reserve, Paraguay, made during November- December 1997. Two eggs were laid directly on the ground at the edge of a small clearing in campo-sujo grassland. Only the female appeared to attend the nest, undertaking a distraction display when the nest site was closely approached. Just one egg hatched, after a period of at least 16 days. KEY WORDS: Caprimulgidae, Cerrado, distraction display, parental care, Paraguay. INTRODUCTION mí—and contains 5,487 ha of Cerrado habitats (a mosaic of deciduous and gallery forest, savannas, and grasslands). The White-winged Nightjar Eleothreptus candicans is one The variety of Cerrado habitats in Aguara Ñu includes of the rarest caprimulgids in the Americas, considered campo-sujo grasslands with scattered Yata’i palms (Butia Endangered by BirdLife International (2013). Until paraguayensis), dense Yata’i campo cerrado, wet grasslands and marshes, xerophytic woodlands and gallery forest. recently, White-winged Nightjar was also one of the least known of Neotropical caprimulgids. Cleere and Nurney The southern border of the plateau is formed by a series (1998) considered the adult female plumage, chick, of low ridgelines separated by valleys whose floors contain nest site, and eggs to be unknown. A population of the saturated grasslands around small water courses which species was discovered at Aguara Ñu, Mbaracayú Forest run into the Arroyo Guyrakeha. Palm density is highest on the center of the plateau and along the crests of the Nature Reserve in 1995 (Lowen et al. 1997), and studies there have documented the female plumage (Capper ridgelines. On ridge slopes the campo grassland is more et al. 2000), male display behavior (Clay et al. 2000), open, with few palms. and breeding biology (Pople 2014). Here we provide At 2030 h on 22 November 1997, EZE flushed a details of the first known nest site, eggs, and chick of caprimulgid from an area of campo-sujo grassland on the southern edge of Aguara Ñu. On searching, two eggs the species. These were previously briefly summarized in Cleere (1999), with additional data presented in Pople were found on bare ground, partially concealed by the (2003). surrounding vegetation. On 23 November, JMB, RPC, and EZE returned to the nest and were able to confirm The study site and methods the identity of the incubating bird as a female White- winged Nightjar. The bird was identified as this species due to the head and upperpart plumage being similar to From July-December 1997 we undertook a study of the that of adult male White-winged Nightjar. Previously White-winged Nightjar population at the Mbaracayú (on 21 November) a gravid White-winged Nightjar was Forest Nature Reserve, located in an area of palm savanna caught, confirming the plumage to be that of a breeding known as Aguara Ñu (see Clay et al. 1998). Aguara Ñu female. Intermittent observations were conducted at the (centered on 24°10’S, 55°16’W) is a low plateau bordered nest during November and December. by two rivers—the Arroyo Guyrakeha and the Río Jejui- First description of the eggs, chick, and nest site of the White-winged Nightjar Eleothreptus candicans Robert Clay, Juan Mazar Barnett and Estela Esquivel Description of the nest site and location Description of the eggs As with other Caprimulgid species, no nest was The two eggs measured: 28.9 mm x 21.4 mm and constructed, with the two eggs laid on an area of bare 28.7 mm x 21.3 mm, with weights of 7.6 g and 7.5 g, earth, of total diameter approximately 30 cm. This respectively. Both eggs were quite uniform in width, pale patch of earth was largely exposed from above, although creamy-brown in color, and with a fairly uniform light the eggs were placed to one side, partially covered by a covering of darker brown and some greyer speckling. The small herb Mimosa dollens (Figure 1). The surrounding slightly larger egg had uniform spotting over its whole vegetation was primarily herbaceous and 30-50 cm in surface, with grey spots and speckles overlaid with small height, with Campomanesia adamantium (Myrtaceae) dark brown spots. The slightly smaller egg had larger among the dominant species. spots concentrated at the obtuse end, and fine elongated The nest site was located just above the head of a spots at the acute end (Figure 3). small valley in campo-sujo grassland on a slope of 8°, and an aspect of 220°. The general area had a relatively higher density of Yata’i palms compared to adjacent male display arenas (see Clay et al. 2000), or the pure grasslands of the valley sides and bottom. However, the nest site was located in a small clearing amongst the palms, with only 14 Yata’i palms and 4 saplings within a radius of 14 m of the nest-site (Figure 2). Of the 14 palms, 11 were less than 1.5 m in height, and all were under 2 m. There was also a comparatively high density of dicot herbs in the campo-sujo of this area. FIGURE 3. Eleothrepus candicans egg (Photo: Juan Mazar Barnett) Observations at the nest During November, diurnal checks were made on the nest during the morning of 23 November, and the afternoons of 27 and 29 November. On all three days, the female was found to be present at the nest (although not always incubating the eggs). The nest was also watched on the evenings of the 25, 26, and 27 November. On all three nights, only the female was observed attending the nest, and no males were even seen in its vicinity. On the 26 November, the female was not present at the nest prior FIGURE 1. View from above of Eleothreptus candicans nest-site to dusk, arriving 27 minutes later and shortly prior to the (Photo: Juan Mazar Barnett) onset of rain. Initially, the female sat in front of the eggs (apparently after first moving them), but as the intensity of the rain increased she gradually moved to cover, first one, and then both the eggs. On the 27 November, ten minutes after the incubating female left the nest, a female was caught approximately 100 m from the nest site (at 2030 h). This bird was banded, and a black mark made on her rectrices to enable identification in the field. At 2300 h this same female was found close to the nest, when she performed an apparent injury-feigning distraction display. The display consisted of the bird rapidly moving away from the nest through and over the vegetation, with much wing flapping. Once away from the nest, the female flew FIGURE 2. Immediate surroundings of Eleothreptus candicans nest- site (Photo: Juan Mazar Barnett) up high, with strong, powerful wing beats, and circled Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(2), 2014 First description of the eggs, chick, and nest site of the White-winged Nightjar Eleothreptus candicans Robert Clay, Juan Mazar Barnett and Estela Esquivel back around toward the nest. On the afternoon of the on the crown, giving a slightly capped appearance, whilst 29 November, this same female was observed incubating the flanks and vent were a paler grey-brown. The irises the eggs. Similar distraction displays were also observed were dark brown, and the bill blackish. during the daytime, especially once a single chick Due to inclement weather, no visits had been made hatched, when they became more frequent and vigorous. to the nest site in the days prior to 10 December, but the The typical daytime reaction was for the female to jump hatching date was estimated to be 7-8 December (judged forward, outstretching its wings and fanning its tail. from the development of the chick when first found). This suggests an incubation period of at least 16 days, which Description of chick falls within the 16-22 days of most other Caprimulgidae species (Cleere 1999). A recently fledged juvenile was By 10 December, one of the eggs had hatched and a observed in the vicinity of the nest site during early young chick was present. Although the second egg was January (Figure 5). still present, it did not hatch in the subsequent days and The observations of female only parental-care, was presumed infertile. A description of chick was taken combined with the apparent clustering of male display the day after its discovery (when it was believed to be territories led to Clay et al. (2000) suggesting that the two to three days old). The down feathers were largely Aguara Ñu population of White-winged Nightjars might uniform dark brown, with inconspicuous buffy-brown exhibit a lek or “landmark” mating system, a hypothesis and cinnamon spots (Figure 4). The spotting was densest further supported by the studies of Pople (2003, 2014). Documentation of White-winged Nightjar nesting habitat has been a key factor in informing management recommendations for the Cerrado at Aguara Ñu, which is threatened by too frequent burns and exotic invasive grasses (both spreading into the reserve from neighboring properties; Capper et al. 2000). ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Allocation of White-winged Nightjar to the genus Eleothreptus is somewhat contentious, but is used here in memory of Juan, with whom we first realized the morphological and plumage similarities between E. candicans and Sickle-winged Nightjar E. anomalus. Permission to work within the Mbaracayú Forest Nature FIGURE 4. Two to three days old Eleothreptus candicans chick (Photo: Reserve was kindly granted by the Comité de Asuntos Juan Mazar Barnett) Científicos of the Fundación Moisés Bertoni (FMB). Thanks are also due to several other FMB staff (current and former), particularly Alberto Yanosky, René Palacios, Claudia Mercolli, and Tito Fernández. The reviewers, Marcelo Ferreira de Vasconcelos, Catherine Bechtoldt and Luciano Naka provided comments that greatly improved the manuscript. REFERENCES BirdLife International. 2013. Species factsheet: Eleothreptus candicans. www.birdlife.org (access on 3 December 2013). Capper, D. R.; Esquivel, E. Z.; Pople, R. G.; Burfield, I. J.; Clay, R. P.; Kennedy, C. P.; & Mazar Barnett, J. 2000. Surveys and recommendations for the management of Aguará Ñu in the Reserva Natural del Bosque Mbaracayú, eastern Paraguay. Unpublished report for the Fundación Moisés Bertoni, Asunción, Paraguay. Clay, R. P.; Capper, D. R.; Mazar Barnett, J.; Burfield, I. J.; Esquivel, E. Z.; Fariña, R.; Kennedy, C. P.; Perrens, M.; & FIGURE 5. Female and juvenile Eleothreptus candicans at nest-site, Pople, R. G. 1998. White-winged Nightjars Caprimulgus about one month after hatching (Photo: Juan Mazar Barnett) Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(2), 2014 First description of the eggs, chick, and nest site of the White-winged Nightjar Eleothreptus candicans Robert Clay, Juan Mazar Barnett and Estela Esquivel candicans and Cerrado conservation: the key findings of Project Brooks, T. M.; Esquivel, E. Z. & Reid, J. M. 1997. New and Aguara Ñu ’97. Cotinga, 9: 52-56. noteworthy observations on the Paraguayan avifauna. Bulletin of Clay, R. P.; López Lanús, B.; Tobias, J. A.; Mazar Barnett, J. & the British Ornithologists’ Club, 117: 275-293. Lowen, J. C. 2000. The display of the White-winged Nightjar. Pople, R. G. 2003. The ecology and conservation of the White-winged Journal Field Ornithology, 71(4): 619-626. Nightjar Caprimulgus candicans. Ph.D. dissertation. Cambridge, Cleere, N. 1999. Family Caprimulgidae (Nightjars), p. 302-386. In: United Kingdom: University of Cambridge. Available online at del Hoyo, J.; Elliot, A.; & Sargatal, J. (eds.). Handbook of the www.dspace.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/225237. birds of the world, v. 5. Barn-owls to Hummingbirds. Barcelona, Pople, R. G. 2014. Breeding biology of the White-winged Nightjar Spain: Lynx Edicions. (Eleothreptus candicans) in eastern Paraguay. Revista Brasileira de Cleere, N. & Nurney, D. 1998. Nightjars: a guide to nightjars and Ornitologia. related nightbirds. Sussex, United Kingdom: Pica Press. Lowen, J. C.; Clay, R. P.; Mazar Barnett, J.; Madroño Ñieto, A.; Pearman, M.; López Lanús, B.; Tobias, J. A.; Liley, D. C.; Associate Editor: Luciano N. Naka Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(2), 2014

Journal

Ornithology ResearchSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 1, 2014

Keywords: Caprimulgidae; Cerrado; distraction display; parental care; Paraguay

References