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The habitat preference of the endemic Pygmy Nightjar Nyctipolus hirundinaceus (Caprimulgidae) of Brazil

The habitat preference of the endemic Pygmy Nightjar Nyctipolus hirundinaceus (Caprimulgidae) of... Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(2), 210-214 ARTICLE June 2014 The habitat preference of the endemic Pygmy Nightjar Nyctipolus hirundinaceus (Caprimulgidae) of Brazil 1,5 2 3 4 Johan Ingels , Juan Mazar Barnett , Marcelo Ferreira de Vasconcelos and Hilery Desmond Jackson Galgenberglaan 9, BE-9070 Destelbergen, Belgium. Deceased. Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais, Museu de Ciências Naturais, Avenida Dom José Gaspar, 290, Prédio 41, Coração Eucarístico, CEP 30535-610, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. 2-6 Beer Court, Kearneys Spring, Toowoomba, QLD 4350, Australia. Corresponding author: johan.ingels@skynet.be Received on 10 August 2013. Accepted on 25 December 2013. ABSTRACT: We discuss the choice of habitats for roosting and breeding by the Pygmy Nightjar (Nyctipolus hirundinaceus), a Brazilian endemic from the eastern part of the country. We observed that the choice of nesting and roosting sites of this nightjar is closely connected to open gravelly and stony areas (lajeiros) in the Caatinga and to rocky outcrops (pedras) in the Atlantic Forest, which allows us to conclude that the Pygmy Nightjar is a rupicolous nightjar, preferring rocky substrates for roosting and breeding. KEYWORDS: Caprimulgidae, habitat choice, nesting sites, rocky substrate, roosting sites. Cleere 1999). The upperparts of the nominate form INTRODUCTION hirundinaceus are described as light grayish brown, while cearae has a somewhat paler and vielliardi a darker The Pygmy Nightjar (Nyctipolus hirundinaceus) is one plumage (Ribon 1995, Cleere 1998, Holyoak 2001). of the smallest Neotropical nightjars (16-20 cm, Cleere These differences in general plumage color of the three 1998; 16.5-19 cm, Holyoak 2001), endemic to eastern subspecies are well illustrated by photos in Cleere (2010, Brazil, where it is found east of approximately 46°W see pp. 180-181). (Cleere 1998, Holyoak 2001). Until recently, this nightjar We document and discuss the apparent preference was considered a species typical of the Caatinga in north- of the Pygmy Nightjar for open gravelly and stony areas eastern Brazil, where two subspecies occur: nominate in the Caatinga and rocky outcrops in the Atlantic Forest. hirundinaceus from southern Piauí south-eastwards to central Bahia and northern Minas Gerais, and cearae from Ceará to extreme northern Bahia. Both are found in open MATERIALS AND METHODS areas in the xerophytic, deciduous and spiny shrub and tree formations, often on or near more or less extensive, Roosting and nesting Pygmy Nightjars were found by low granite-quartz outcrops called lajeiros (Sick 1993, random searching during the day at eight localities in Cleere 1998, Holyoak 2001, Sigrist 2009). eastern Brazil. Observations at night were made at two In 1995, a third subspecies vielliardi was described localities. Details about these localities are given in from a specimen collected on a granite-gneiss outcrop Appendix 1. An individual is described as roosting when near Colatina in Espírito Santo (Ribon 1995). Later it it is sitting crouched down with eyes (almost) closed and was also discovered in extreme eastern Minas Gerais, we consider roosting as a daytime activity. Observations close to Espírito Santo (Vasconcelos & Lins 1998, 1999). made at four localities have already been published. At On these granite-gneiss outcrops or inselbergs in the four other localities we made previously unpublished Atlantic Forest called pedras, it is mostly found among observations. xeric vegetation resembling the north-eastern Brazilian Furthermore, we checked 209 photos of Pygmy Caatinga (Ribon 1995, Vasconcelos & Lins 1998, 1999). Nightjars made during daytime and published on the The dorsal plumage color of nightjars is well adapted Brazilian site WikiAves (2013) for the environment in to the habitats in which they live (see pp. 306-307 in which they were photographed and for the substrate The habitat preference of the endemic Pygmy Nightjar Nyctipolus hirundinaceus (Caprimulgidae) of Brazil Johan Ingels, Juan Mazar Barnett, Marcelo Ferreira de Vasconcelos and Hilery Desmond Jackson they were roosting or breeding on: plant litter, bare soil, intermixed with arboreal caatinga in the margins of gravel or rock. These photos were made in the following Cachoeira do Pajeú, Monte Azul, northern Minas Gerais. Brazilian states: Ceará (83), Bahia (60), Paraíba (14), Rio This bird was flushed three times and it always alighted Grande do Norte (6), Piauí (5), Pernambuco (5) and on the rocky outcrop. The observation of this subspecies Alagoas (2) in the Caatinga, and Espírito Santo (23) and is the second for this Brazilian state (Kirwan et al. 2004). Minas Gerais (11) in the Atlantic Forest. WA voucher numbers of photographs with an egg or a chick can be found in Mazar Barnett et al. (this volume, Table 1). RESULTS Choice of habitat by each subspecies Nyctipolus hirundinaceus cearae Between 13 and 17 June 1995, M. F. V. studied this nightjar at the Estação Ecológica de Aiuaba near Aiuaba in south-western Ceará (Vasconcelos & Figueiredo 1996). The region is covered by Caatinga, with large areas FIGURE 1. Lajeiro Morada Nova (Ceará, 04°50’S, 38°37’W) where of bare soil. Pygmy Nightjars were found roosting during Pygmy Nightjars (Nyctipolus hirundinaceus cearae) were breeding. daytime in open areas with bare soil, along dirt roads and Photo by A. Grosset. on rocky areas in the grounds of the ecological station. At night, they were seen hunting for insects by sallying from the ground in open areas, from dirt roads and from the paved roads around the headquarters. On 20 October 2008, A. Grosset and C. Albano (Grosset 2005) found a dozen individuals of this subspecies among xeric vegetation on a rather flat, stony outcrop or lajeiro called Morada Nova in northern Ceará (Figure 1). They also found two nests, depressions in the rock filled with vegetal litter, gravel and/or rock debris, each with one egg incubated by an individual (Figures 2 & 3). Nyctipolus hirundinaceus hirundinaceus Between 2 January and 3 February 1997, J. M. B. FIGURE 2. Nest site of Pygmy Nightjar (Nyctipolus hirundinaceus studied Pygmy Nightjars on Fazenda Concórdia, c.30 cearae) with an egg (arrow), found near vegetation on lajeiro Morada km from Curaçá in northern Bahia, a region of semi- Nova (Ceará, 04°50’S, 38°37’W). Photo by A. Grosset. desert scrubland and dry woodland. The fazenda presents open xeric vegetation, locally called sertão, dominated by several species of cacti (Cactaceae: Cereus jamacaru, Pilosocereus gounellei), and bushes and small trees (Euphorbiaceae: Cnidoscolus phyllacanthus, Jatropha mollissima; Caesalpinoideae: Caesalpinia pyramidalis), on soil with abundant gravel, pebbles and rocks. The vegetation was subject to heavy grazing by goats and cattle. Pygmy Nightjars were fairly common around the fazenda. Four nests, each with one egg, were found in an area of open Caatinga with sparse low vegetation and large areas of bare soil and stony ground. Eggs were laid directly on the substrate. Three nests were found at the side of a dirt road, a fourth one c.15 m away from this FIGURE 3. Close-up of the egg of Pygmy Nightjar (Nytipolus dirt road and a few meters from a rocky outcrop (Mazar hirundinaceus cearae) of Figure 2, laid among fallen cactus thorns on Barnett et al. this volume). a layer of fine gravel and vegetal litter on lajeiro Morada Nova (Ceará, On 4 December 2006 during daytime, M. F. V. 04°50’S, 38°37’W). Surprising how well the color pattern of the egg blends with its surroundings. Photo by A. Grosset. observed one individual roosting on a rocky outcrop Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(2), 2014 The habitat preference of the endemic Pygmy Nightjar Nyctipolus hirundinaceus (Caprimulgidae) of Brazil Johan Ingels, Juan Mazar Barnett, Marcelo Ferreira de Vasconcelos and Hilery Desmond Jackson On 5 May 2008 at night, M. F. V. observed at least During 7-8 July and 12-14 September 1997, M. three individuals foraging for insects along a gravel road F. V. studied Pygmy Nightjars on two pedras, Pedra do at the base of the massif of Morro do Chapéu in Jacaraci, Resplendor and Pedra Lorena, near Aimorés in eastern southern Bahia. This road was adjacent to a quartzite Minais Gerais. Although situated in the Atlantic Forest, outcrop. they were covered by xeric vegetation that resembles the On 25 and 26 September 2010, A. Grosset (pers. north-eastern Brazilian Caatinga, with the occurrence of comm.) found Pygmy Nightjars on a lajeiro near Boa cacti (Cactaceae: Opuntia brasiliensis, Pereskia aculeata, Nova in northern Bahia. This rocky outcrop was partly Coleocephalocerus fluminensis), bromeliads (Bromeliaceae: covered with low xeric vegetation, e.g. cacti (Cactaceae: Encholirium horridum), low shrubs (Velloziaceae: Melocactus spp.) (Figure 4). Nanuza plicata; Euphorbiaceae: Jatropha sp., Euphorbia phosphorea), ferns (Pteridaceae: Notholaena eriophora; Nyctipolus hirundinaceus vielliardi Selaginellaceae: Selaginella sellowi), and other species On 19 September 1993, Ribon (1995) collected the first of shrubs and trees of the families Anacardiaceae, specimen of this subspecies on a pedra near Colatina in Bignoniaceae, Malvaceae, Clusiaceae, Fabaceae and Espírito Santo. The region of Colatina is characterized Myrtaceae. by relatively dry vegetation, quite different from the surrounding Atlantic Forest. The region has a remarkable Choice of nesting and roosting sites extent of rocky outcrops, providing a particular habitat where Pygmy Nightjars are found (Figure 5) (R. Ribon On 25 November 2013, WikiAves (2013) had 209 photos pers. comm.). published related to the Pygmy Nightjar. Nesting sites Five photos show a single egg, and one photo an egg in front of an adult. Two of these eggs are seen to be simply laid in a small, shallow depression in rock. The other five are laid on a mixed layer of gravelly material and vegetal litter, mostly among rock debris (Figure 6). Ten photos show a single chick, and one photo a chick next to an adult. Chicks are estimated to be between 2 and 15 days old. They are nearly always found among pebbles and/or rock debris in gravelly or rocky areas. Roosting sites FIGURE 4. Lajeiro Boa Nova (Bahia, 14°22’S, 40°10’W) where Pygmy Nightjars (Nyctipolus hirundinaceus hirundinaceus) were found. Eleven photos each show a pair roosting on rock near Photo by A. Grosset. vegetation, sometimes among plant litter, mostly among gravel and rock debris. FIGURE 5. A pedra at Fazenda Bernardina (19°32’S, 40°36’W) FIGURE 6. Incubating Pygmy Nightjar Nyctipolus hirundinaceus between Colatina and Barbados, Espírito Santo, with its particular cearae on lajeiro Morada Nova (04°50’S, 38°37’W). The crouched xeric vegetation forming the typical habitat of the subspecies Nyctipolus nightjar with its cryptic colors blends perfectly well with the rocky hirundinaceus veilliardi of the Pygmy Nightjar. Photo by R. Ribon. surroundings. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(2), 2014 The habitat preference of the endemic Pygmy Nightjar Nyctipolus hirundinaceus (Caprimulgidae) of Brazil Johan Ingels, Juan Mazar Barnett, Marcelo Ferreira de Vasconcelos and Hilery Desmond Jackson A single roosting adult is seen on 181 photos. In From our observations, it is clear that roosting and the Caatinga, Pygmy Nightjars are mainly found in open breeding of Pygmy Nightjars are closely connected with areas with lajeiros, and in the Atlantic Forest, this nightjar lajeiros in the Caatinga and pedras in the Atlantic Forest. is only found on pedras. They mostly roost on bare This preference for rocky habitats within which to roost parts of these rocky outcrops, away from any vegetation and breed allows us to recognise the Pygmy Nightjar (77 photos) or near vegetation (64 photos). To a lesser (Nyctipolus hirundinaceus) as one of only three nightjar extent, they roost among gravel, pebbles and rock debris species in the world that are rupicolous. on rock (26 photos). And rarely, they roost on vegetal litter accumulated in depressions on a rocky substrate (8 photos), or among gravel on a sandy substrate (6 photos). ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We thank Ciro Albano, Arthur Grosset and Rômulo DISCUSSION Ribon for allowing us to mention their observations and to use their photos. We also thank Robert Pople and an Only two nightjars in the world, the Freckled Nightjar anonymous reviewer for constructive comments on an (Caprimulgus tristigma) of the Afrotropics and the Blackish earlier version of our manuscript, and Olivier Claessens Nightjar (Nyctipolus nigrescens) of the Neotropics, have for help with preparing the photos. Livia Vanucci Lins, previously been found to be rupicolous in their choice Gracimério José Guarneire, Charles Duca and Leandro of substrate for roosting and breeding (Jackson & Ingels Nunes Souza accompanied M. F. V. in the field. M. F. V. 2010). It was implied by Dowsett-Lemaire & Dowsett thanks CAPES and the Brehm Foundation for financial (2006) that the Golden Nightjar (Caprimulgus eximius) of support of his field work. Africa may also be rupicolous, but investigation showed that only the Mali deme of this species has a preference REFERENCES for rocks (Jackson 2011). Despite the possibility that field observations of Cleere, N. 1998. Nightjars. A guide to nightjars and related nightbirds. nightjars may be biased by the accessibility of the areas Robertsbridge: Pica Press. visited by observers, and the fact that this nightjar is also Cleere, N. 1999. Family Caprimulgidae (Nightjars), p. 302-386. In: found in open gravelly areas or on bare soil, it is obvious del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Sargatal, J. (eds). Handbook of the birds from our observations and the many photos on WikiAves of the world, volume 5. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. Cleere, N. 2010. Nightjars, potoos, frogmouths, oilbird and owlet- that Pygmy Nightjars have a preference for rocky areas nightjars of the world. Old Basing, UK: WILDGuides Ltd. (lajeiros) in the Caatinga and inselbergs (pedras) in the Dowsett-Lemaire, F. & Dowsett, R. J. 2006. First reliable sound Atlantic Forest. recording of Golden Nightjar Caprimulgus eximius, in the rocky Clutch size of the Pygmy Nightjar is one egg. hills of central Mali. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 13: 49-55. On WikiAves (2013), 18 photos show one egg (7) or Grosset, A. 2005. Caprimulgus hirundinaceus www.arthurgrosset. com/sabirds/south%20american%20index.html (Accessed on 15 one chick (11). The origin of the statement that clutch April 2012). size is one or two eggs (Cleere 2010), or even two eggs Holyoak, D. T. 2001. Nightjars and their allies. The Caprimulgiformes. (WikiAves 2013) is unclear, and most probably in error. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Although eggs are sometimes laid in a small, shallow Jackson, H. D. 2011. Habitat of the Golden Nightjar Caprimulgus eximius. Ostrich 82: 247-248. depression on bare rock, they are more often laid among Jackson, H. D. & Ingels, J. 2010. Comparison of the two rupicolous rock debris on a mixed layer of vegetal litter and gravel nightjars: the Afrotropical Freckled Nightjar Caprimulgus tristigma near vegetation on lajeiros and pedras (Figures 2 & 3). and the Neotropical Blackish Nightjar C. nigrescens. Ostrich 81: These surroundings help greatly to camouflage the egg. 145-148. Chicks are usually found among pebbles and/or rock Kirwan, G. M.; Mazar Barnett, J.; Vasconcelos, M. F.; Raposo, M. A.; D’Angelo Neto, S. & Roesler, I. 2004. Further comments debris in gravelly or rocky areas, where their crouched on the avifauna of the middle São Francisco Valley, Minas Gerais, form and cryptic grayish dorsal plumage helps greatly to Brazil. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 124, 207-220. mislead predators relying on vision to find prey. As chicks Mazar Barnett, J.; Ingels, J.; Langeloh Roos, A. & Naka, L. N. of ground-breeding nightjars are semi-precocial (Cleere Observations on the breeding biology of the Pygmy Nightjar Nyctipolus hirundinaceus in the Caatinga of Bahia, Brazil. Revista 1998, Holyoak 2001), we suppose that chicks which did Brasileira de Ornitologia (this volume). not hatch in such surroundings, can find more suitable Ribon, R. 1995. Nova subespécie de Caprimulgus (Linnaeus) (Aves, habitat within a day or two of hatching. Caprimulgidae) do Espírito Santo, Brasil. Revista Brasileira de Both Caatinga subspecies (nominate and cearae) Zoologia, 12: 333-337. living on the lighter coloured substrates of the lajeiros Sick, H. 1993. Birds in Brazil. A natural history. Princeton, NewJersey: Princeton University Press. (Figures 1 & 4) show a paler plumage, while the subspecies Sigrist, T. 2009. Avifauna brasileira: the Avis Brasilis field guide to the veilliardi living on the darker granite-gneiss substrate birds of Brazil, 1ª edição. São Paulo: Editora Avis Brasilis. (Figure 5) of the pedras presents a darker plumage. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(2), 2014 The habitat preference of the endemic Pygmy Nightjar Nyctipolus hirundinaceus (Caprimulgidae) of Brazil Johan Ingels, Juan Mazar Barnett, Marcelo Ferreira de Vasconcelos and Hilery Desmond Jackson Vasconcelos, M. F. & Figueiredo, C. C. 1996. Observações Vasconcelos, M. F. & Lins, L. V. 1999. Photospot: Pygmy Nightjar preliminaries sobre o comporamento do bacurauzinho-da- Caprimulgus hirundinaceus vielliardi. Cotinga, 11: 74. caatinga (Caprimulgus hirundinaceus) na Estação Ecológica de WikiAves. 2013. Hydropsalis hirundinacea www.wikiaves.com.br Aiuaba-CE. Atualidades Ornitológicas, 73: 13. (Accessed on 22 November 2013). Vasconcelos, M. F. & Lins, L. V. 1998. First records of Caprimulgus hirundinaceus vielliardi for Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Ararajuba, 6: 134-135. Associate Editor: Luciano N. Naka APPENDIX 1: Eight localities in eastern Brazil where detailed information about the choice of roosting and/or nesting sites of Pygmy Nightjars (Nyctipolus hirundinaceus) were obtained. Locality State Coordinates Subspecies Reference Aiuaba Ceará 06°40'S, 40°14'W cearae Vasconcelos & Figueiredo 1996 Morada Nova Ceará 05°07'S, 38°23'W cearae Grosset 2005 Curaçá Bahia 09°09'S, 39°45'W hirundinaceus J. M. B. pers. obs. Monte Azul Minas Gerais 15°15'S, 42°51'W hirundinaceus M. F. V. pers. obs. Jacaraci Bahia 14°52'S, 42°30'W hirundinaceus M. F. V. pers. obs. Boa Nova Bahia 14°22'S, 40°10'W hirundinaceus A. Grosset pers. comm. Colatina Espírito Santo 19°32'S, 40°36'W vielliardi Ribon 1995, R. Ribon pers. comm. Aimorés Minas Gerais 19°29'S, 41°03'W vielliardi Vasconcelos & Lins 1998 Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(2), 2014 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ornithology Research Springer Journals

The habitat preference of the endemic Pygmy Nightjar Nyctipolus hirundinaceus (Caprimulgidae) of Brazil

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Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(2), 210-214 ARTICLE June 2014 The habitat preference of the endemic Pygmy Nightjar Nyctipolus hirundinaceus (Caprimulgidae) of Brazil 1,5 2 3 4 Johan Ingels , Juan Mazar Barnett , Marcelo Ferreira de Vasconcelos and Hilery Desmond Jackson Galgenberglaan 9, BE-9070 Destelbergen, Belgium. Deceased. Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais, Museu de Ciências Naturais, Avenida Dom José Gaspar, 290, Prédio 41, Coração Eucarístico, CEP 30535-610, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. 2-6 Beer Court, Kearneys Spring, Toowoomba, QLD 4350, Australia. Corresponding author: johan.ingels@skynet.be Received on 10 August 2013. Accepted on 25 December 2013. ABSTRACT: We discuss the choice of habitats for roosting and breeding by the Pygmy Nightjar (Nyctipolus hirundinaceus), a Brazilian endemic from the eastern part of the country. We observed that the choice of nesting and roosting sites of this nightjar is closely connected to open gravelly and stony areas (lajeiros) in the Caatinga and to rocky outcrops (pedras) in the Atlantic Forest, which allows us to conclude that the Pygmy Nightjar is a rupicolous nightjar, preferring rocky substrates for roosting and breeding. KEYWORDS: Caprimulgidae, habitat choice, nesting sites, rocky substrate, roosting sites. Cleere 1999). The upperparts of the nominate form INTRODUCTION hirundinaceus are described as light grayish brown, while cearae has a somewhat paler and vielliardi a darker The Pygmy Nightjar (Nyctipolus hirundinaceus) is one plumage (Ribon 1995, Cleere 1998, Holyoak 2001). of the smallest Neotropical nightjars (16-20 cm, Cleere These differences in general plumage color of the three 1998; 16.5-19 cm, Holyoak 2001), endemic to eastern subspecies are well illustrated by photos in Cleere (2010, Brazil, where it is found east of approximately 46°W see pp. 180-181). (Cleere 1998, Holyoak 2001). Until recently, this nightjar We document and discuss the apparent preference was considered a species typical of the Caatinga in north- of the Pygmy Nightjar for open gravelly and stony areas eastern Brazil, where two subspecies occur: nominate in the Caatinga and rocky outcrops in the Atlantic Forest. hirundinaceus from southern Piauí south-eastwards to central Bahia and northern Minas Gerais, and cearae from Ceará to extreme northern Bahia. Both are found in open MATERIALS AND METHODS areas in the xerophytic, deciduous and spiny shrub and tree formations, often on or near more or less extensive, Roosting and nesting Pygmy Nightjars were found by low granite-quartz outcrops called lajeiros (Sick 1993, random searching during the day at eight localities in Cleere 1998, Holyoak 2001, Sigrist 2009). eastern Brazil. Observations at night were made at two In 1995, a third subspecies vielliardi was described localities. Details about these localities are given in from a specimen collected on a granite-gneiss outcrop Appendix 1. An individual is described as roosting when near Colatina in Espírito Santo (Ribon 1995). Later it it is sitting crouched down with eyes (almost) closed and was also discovered in extreme eastern Minas Gerais, we consider roosting as a daytime activity. Observations close to Espírito Santo (Vasconcelos & Lins 1998, 1999). made at four localities have already been published. At On these granite-gneiss outcrops or inselbergs in the four other localities we made previously unpublished Atlantic Forest called pedras, it is mostly found among observations. xeric vegetation resembling the north-eastern Brazilian Furthermore, we checked 209 photos of Pygmy Caatinga (Ribon 1995, Vasconcelos & Lins 1998, 1999). Nightjars made during daytime and published on the The dorsal plumage color of nightjars is well adapted Brazilian site WikiAves (2013) for the environment in to the habitats in which they live (see pp. 306-307 in which they were photographed and for the substrate The habitat preference of the endemic Pygmy Nightjar Nyctipolus hirundinaceus (Caprimulgidae) of Brazil Johan Ingels, Juan Mazar Barnett, Marcelo Ferreira de Vasconcelos and Hilery Desmond Jackson they were roosting or breeding on: plant litter, bare soil, intermixed with arboreal caatinga in the margins of gravel or rock. These photos were made in the following Cachoeira do Pajeú, Monte Azul, northern Minas Gerais. Brazilian states: Ceará (83), Bahia (60), Paraíba (14), Rio This bird was flushed three times and it always alighted Grande do Norte (6), Piauí (5), Pernambuco (5) and on the rocky outcrop. The observation of this subspecies Alagoas (2) in the Caatinga, and Espírito Santo (23) and is the second for this Brazilian state (Kirwan et al. 2004). Minas Gerais (11) in the Atlantic Forest. WA voucher numbers of photographs with an egg or a chick can be found in Mazar Barnett et al. (this volume, Table 1). RESULTS Choice of habitat by each subspecies Nyctipolus hirundinaceus cearae Between 13 and 17 June 1995, M. F. V. studied this nightjar at the Estação Ecológica de Aiuaba near Aiuaba in south-western Ceará (Vasconcelos & Figueiredo 1996). The region is covered by Caatinga, with large areas FIGURE 1. Lajeiro Morada Nova (Ceará, 04°50’S, 38°37’W) where of bare soil. Pygmy Nightjars were found roosting during Pygmy Nightjars (Nyctipolus hirundinaceus cearae) were breeding. daytime in open areas with bare soil, along dirt roads and Photo by A. Grosset. on rocky areas in the grounds of the ecological station. At night, they were seen hunting for insects by sallying from the ground in open areas, from dirt roads and from the paved roads around the headquarters. On 20 October 2008, A. Grosset and C. Albano (Grosset 2005) found a dozen individuals of this subspecies among xeric vegetation on a rather flat, stony outcrop or lajeiro called Morada Nova in northern Ceará (Figure 1). They also found two nests, depressions in the rock filled with vegetal litter, gravel and/or rock debris, each with one egg incubated by an individual (Figures 2 & 3). Nyctipolus hirundinaceus hirundinaceus Between 2 January and 3 February 1997, J. M. B. FIGURE 2. Nest site of Pygmy Nightjar (Nyctipolus hirundinaceus studied Pygmy Nightjars on Fazenda Concórdia, c.30 cearae) with an egg (arrow), found near vegetation on lajeiro Morada km from Curaçá in northern Bahia, a region of semi- Nova (Ceará, 04°50’S, 38°37’W). Photo by A. Grosset. desert scrubland and dry woodland. The fazenda presents open xeric vegetation, locally called sertão, dominated by several species of cacti (Cactaceae: Cereus jamacaru, Pilosocereus gounellei), and bushes and small trees (Euphorbiaceae: Cnidoscolus phyllacanthus, Jatropha mollissima; Caesalpinoideae: Caesalpinia pyramidalis), on soil with abundant gravel, pebbles and rocks. The vegetation was subject to heavy grazing by goats and cattle. Pygmy Nightjars were fairly common around the fazenda. Four nests, each with one egg, were found in an area of open Caatinga with sparse low vegetation and large areas of bare soil and stony ground. Eggs were laid directly on the substrate. Three nests were found at the side of a dirt road, a fourth one c.15 m away from this FIGURE 3. Close-up of the egg of Pygmy Nightjar (Nytipolus dirt road and a few meters from a rocky outcrop (Mazar hirundinaceus cearae) of Figure 2, laid among fallen cactus thorns on Barnett et al. this volume). a layer of fine gravel and vegetal litter on lajeiro Morada Nova (Ceará, On 4 December 2006 during daytime, M. F. V. 04°50’S, 38°37’W). Surprising how well the color pattern of the egg blends with its surroundings. Photo by A. Grosset. observed one individual roosting on a rocky outcrop Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(2), 2014 The habitat preference of the endemic Pygmy Nightjar Nyctipolus hirundinaceus (Caprimulgidae) of Brazil Johan Ingels, Juan Mazar Barnett, Marcelo Ferreira de Vasconcelos and Hilery Desmond Jackson On 5 May 2008 at night, M. F. V. observed at least During 7-8 July and 12-14 September 1997, M. three individuals foraging for insects along a gravel road F. V. studied Pygmy Nightjars on two pedras, Pedra do at the base of the massif of Morro do Chapéu in Jacaraci, Resplendor and Pedra Lorena, near Aimorés in eastern southern Bahia. This road was adjacent to a quartzite Minais Gerais. Although situated in the Atlantic Forest, outcrop. they were covered by xeric vegetation that resembles the On 25 and 26 September 2010, A. Grosset (pers. north-eastern Brazilian Caatinga, with the occurrence of comm.) found Pygmy Nightjars on a lajeiro near Boa cacti (Cactaceae: Opuntia brasiliensis, Pereskia aculeata, Nova in northern Bahia. This rocky outcrop was partly Coleocephalocerus fluminensis), bromeliads (Bromeliaceae: covered with low xeric vegetation, e.g. cacti (Cactaceae: Encholirium horridum), low shrubs (Velloziaceae: Melocactus spp.) (Figure 4). Nanuza plicata; Euphorbiaceae: Jatropha sp., Euphorbia phosphorea), ferns (Pteridaceae: Notholaena eriophora; Nyctipolus hirundinaceus vielliardi Selaginellaceae: Selaginella sellowi), and other species On 19 September 1993, Ribon (1995) collected the first of shrubs and trees of the families Anacardiaceae, specimen of this subspecies on a pedra near Colatina in Bignoniaceae, Malvaceae, Clusiaceae, Fabaceae and Espírito Santo. The region of Colatina is characterized Myrtaceae. by relatively dry vegetation, quite different from the surrounding Atlantic Forest. The region has a remarkable Choice of nesting and roosting sites extent of rocky outcrops, providing a particular habitat where Pygmy Nightjars are found (Figure 5) (R. Ribon On 25 November 2013, WikiAves (2013) had 209 photos pers. comm.). published related to the Pygmy Nightjar. Nesting sites Five photos show a single egg, and one photo an egg in front of an adult. Two of these eggs are seen to be simply laid in a small, shallow depression in rock. The other five are laid on a mixed layer of gravelly material and vegetal litter, mostly among rock debris (Figure 6). Ten photos show a single chick, and one photo a chick next to an adult. Chicks are estimated to be between 2 and 15 days old. They are nearly always found among pebbles and/or rock debris in gravelly or rocky areas. Roosting sites FIGURE 4. Lajeiro Boa Nova (Bahia, 14°22’S, 40°10’W) where Pygmy Nightjars (Nyctipolus hirundinaceus hirundinaceus) were found. Eleven photos each show a pair roosting on rock near Photo by A. Grosset. vegetation, sometimes among plant litter, mostly among gravel and rock debris. FIGURE 5. A pedra at Fazenda Bernardina (19°32’S, 40°36’W) FIGURE 6. Incubating Pygmy Nightjar Nyctipolus hirundinaceus between Colatina and Barbados, Espírito Santo, with its particular cearae on lajeiro Morada Nova (04°50’S, 38°37’W). The crouched xeric vegetation forming the typical habitat of the subspecies Nyctipolus nightjar with its cryptic colors blends perfectly well with the rocky hirundinaceus veilliardi of the Pygmy Nightjar. Photo by R. Ribon. surroundings. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(2), 2014 The habitat preference of the endemic Pygmy Nightjar Nyctipolus hirundinaceus (Caprimulgidae) of Brazil Johan Ingels, Juan Mazar Barnett, Marcelo Ferreira de Vasconcelos and Hilery Desmond Jackson A single roosting adult is seen on 181 photos. In From our observations, it is clear that roosting and the Caatinga, Pygmy Nightjars are mainly found in open breeding of Pygmy Nightjars are closely connected with areas with lajeiros, and in the Atlantic Forest, this nightjar lajeiros in the Caatinga and pedras in the Atlantic Forest. is only found on pedras. They mostly roost on bare This preference for rocky habitats within which to roost parts of these rocky outcrops, away from any vegetation and breed allows us to recognise the Pygmy Nightjar (77 photos) or near vegetation (64 photos). To a lesser (Nyctipolus hirundinaceus) as one of only three nightjar extent, they roost among gravel, pebbles and rock debris species in the world that are rupicolous. on rock (26 photos). And rarely, they roost on vegetal litter accumulated in depressions on a rocky substrate (8 photos), or among gravel on a sandy substrate (6 photos). ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We thank Ciro Albano, Arthur Grosset and Rômulo DISCUSSION Ribon for allowing us to mention their observations and to use their photos. We also thank Robert Pople and an Only two nightjars in the world, the Freckled Nightjar anonymous reviewer for constructive comments on an (Caprimulgus tristigma) of the Afrotropics and the Blackish earlier version of our manuscript, and Olivier Claessens Nightjar (Nyctipolus nigrescens) of the Neotropics, have for help with preparing the photos. Livia Vanucci Lins, previously been found to be rupicolous in their choice Gracimério José Guarneire, Charles Duca and Leandro of substrate for roosting and breeding (Jackson & Ingels Nunes Souza accompanied M. F. V. in the field. M. F. V. 2010). It was implied by Dowsett-Lemaire & Dowsett thanks CAPES and the Brehm Foundation for financial (2006) that the Golden Nightjar (Caprimulgus eximius) of support of his field work. Africa may also be rupicolous, but investigation showed that only the Mali deme of this species has a preference REFERENCES for rocks (Jackson 2011). Despite the possibility that field observations of Cleere, N. 1998. Nightjars. A guide to nightjars and related nightbirds. nightjars may be biased by the accessibility of the areas Robertsbridge: Pica Press. visited by observers, and the fact that this nightjar is also Cleere, N. 1999. Family Caprimulgidae (Nightjars), p. 302-386. In: found in open gravelly areas or on bare soil, it is obvious del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Sargatal, J. (eds). Handbook of the birds from our observations and the many photos on WikiAves of the world, volume 5. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. Cleere, N. 2010. Nightjars, potoos, frogmouths, oilbird and owlet- that Pygmy Nightjars have a preference for rocky areas nightjars of the world. Old Basing, UK: WILDGuides Ltd. (lajeiros) in the Caatinga and inselbergs (pedras) in the Dowsett-Lemaire, F. & Dowsett, R. J. 2006. First reliable sound Atlantic Forest. recording of Golden Nightjar Caprimulgus eximius, in the rocky Clutch size of the Pygmy Nightjar is one egg. hills of central Mali. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 13: 49-55. On WikiAves (2013), 18 photos show one egg (7) or Grosset, A. 2005. Caprimulgus hirundinaceus www.arthurgrosset. com/sabirds/south%20american%20index.html (Accessed on 15 one chick (11). The origin of the statement that clutch April 2012). size is one or two eggs (Cleere 2010), or even two eggs Holyoak, D. T. 2001. Nightjars and their allies. The Caprimulgiformes. (WikiAves 2013) is unclear, and most probably in error. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Although eggs are sometimes laid in a small, shallow Jackson, H. D. 2011. Habitat of the Golden Nightjar Caprimulgus eximius. Ostrich 82: 247-248. depression on bare rock, they are more often laid among Jackson, H. D. & Ingels, J. 2010. Comparison of the two rupicolous rock debris on a mixed layer of vegetal litter and gravel nightjars: the Afrotropical Freckled Nightjar Caprimulgus tristigma near vegetation on lajeiros and pedras (Figures 2 & 3). and the Neotropical Blackish Nightjar C. nigrescens. Ostrich 81: These surroundings help greatly to camouflage the egg. 145-148. Chicks are usually found among pebbles and/or rock Kirwan, G. M.; Mazar Barnett, J.; Vasconcelos, M. F.; Raposo, M. A.; D’Angelo Neto, S. & Roesler, I. 2004. Further comments debris in gravelly or rocky areas, where their crouched on the avifauna of the middle São Francisco Valley, Minas Gerais, form and cryptic grayish dorsal plumage helps greatly to Brazil. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 124, 207-220. mislead predators relying on vision to find prey. As chicks Mazar Barnett, J.; Ingels, J.; Langeloh Roos, A. & Naka, L. N. of ground-breeding nightjars are semi-precocial (Cleere Observations on the breeding biology of the Pygmy Nightjar Nyctipolus hirundinaceus in the Caatinga of Bahia, Brazil. Revista 1998, Holyoak 2001), we suppose that chicks which did Brasileira de Ornitologia (this volume). not hatch in such surroundings, can find more suitable Ribon, R. 1995. Nova subespécie de Caprimulgus (Linnaeus) (Aves, habitat within a day or two of hatching. Caprimulgidae) do Espírito Santo, Brasil. Revista Brasileira de Both Caatinga subspecies (nominate and cearae) Zoologia, 12: 333-337. living on the lighter coloured substrates of the lajeiros Sick, H. 1993. Birds in Brazil. A natural history. Princeton, NewJersey: Princeton University Press. (Figures 1 & 4) show a paler plumage, while the subspecies Sigrist, T. 2009. Avifauna brasileira: the Avis Brasilis field guide to the veilliardi living on the darker granite-gneiss substrate birds of Brazil, 1ª edição. São Paulo: Editora Avis Brasilis. (Figure 5) of the pedras presents a darker plumage. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(2), 2014 The habitat preference of the endemic Pygmy Nightjar Nyctipolus hirundinaceus (Caprimulgidae) of Brazil Johan Ingels, Juan Mazar Barnett, Marcelo Ferreira de Vasconcelos and Hilery Desmond Jackson Vasconcelos, M. F. & Figueiredo, C. C. 1996. Observações Vasconcelos, M. F. & Lins, L. V. 1999. Photospot: Pygmy Nightjar preliminaries sobre o comporamento do bacurauzinho-da- Caprimulgus hirundinaceus vielliardi. Cotinga, 11: 74. caatinga (Caprimulgus hirundinaceus) na Estação Ecológica de WikiAves. 2013. Hydropsalis hirundinacea www.wikiaves.com.br Aiuaba-CE. Atualidades Ornitológicas, 73: 13. (Accessed on 22 November 2013). Vasconcelos, M. F. & Lins, L. V. 1998. First records of Caprimulgus hirundinaceus vielliardi for Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Ararajuba, 6: 134-135. Associate Editor: Luciano N. Naka APPENDIX 1: Eight localities in eastern Brazil where detailed information about the choice of roosting and/or nesting sites of Pygmy Nightjars (Nyctipolus hirundinaceus) were obtained. Locality State Coordinates Subspecies Reference Aiuaba Ceará 06°40'S, 40°14'W cearae Vasconcelos & Figueiredo 1996 Morada Nova Ceará 05°07'S, 38°23'W cearae Grosset 2005 Curaçá Bahia 09°09'S, 39°45'W hirundinaceus J. M. B. pers. obs. Monte Azul Minas Gerais 15°15'S, 42°51'W hirundinaceus M. F. V. pers. obs. Jacaraci Bahia 14°52'S, 42°30'W hirundinaceus M. F. V. pers. obs. Boa Nova Bahia 14°22'S, 40°10'W hirundinaceus A. Grosset pers. comm. Colatina Espírito Santo 19°32'S, 40°36'W vielliardi Ribon 1995, R. Ribon pers. comm. Aimorés Minas Gerais 19°29'S, 41°03'W vielliardi Vasconcelos & Lins 1998 Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(2), 2014

Journal

Ornithology ResearchSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 1, 2014

Keywords: Caprimulgidae; habitat choice; nesting sites; rocky substrate; roosting sites

References