621. Caprimulgus Aegyptius

Caprimulgus oehyptius, Licht. Verz. Doubl, p. 59 (1823), Shelley ; B. of Egypt, p. 75, pl. viii. ; Dresser, iv. p. 629. pl. 272 ; Hartert, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xvi. p. 562 ; Saunders, p. 270 ; Lilford, ii. 36, pl. 15 ; Koenig, J. f. O. 1896, Tab. vi. fig. 2 (egg) ; C. isabellinus, Temm. Pl. Col. 379 (1825) ; C. arenicolor, Severtz. Ibis, 1875, p. 491.
Engoulevent isabelle, French ; El Hama, Arab.
Male ad. (Turkestan). Sandy greyish isabelline, vermiculated and barred with black ; inner webs of the primaries chiefly white, but no white spots on the wings or tail ; tail vermiculated and barred with black ; under parts sandy isabelline, narrowly barred with blackish ; a patch on the throat white ; legs reddish brown, beak dark brown ; iris black. Gape 1.1, wing 8.1, tail 5.3, tarsus 0.9 inch. The female differs merely in being slightly duller in colour and markings, and lacks the white wing-spots.
Hab. N. Africa (Algeria, Tunis, Egypt, and Nubia) ; TransĀ¬caspia, Turkestan, Afghanistan, and Baluchistan ; has once occurred in England, once in Heligoland, twice in Sicily, and three times in Malta.
In general habits it resembles G. europoeus, but frequents the sand deserts and chiefly the small groves on the borders of the true desert, and is a migrant, passing south for the winter, at least as far as Fashoda. Its food consists, like that of our Nightjar, of insects of various kinds. Its note is also similar but softer and less prolonged, and when disturbed it utters a little snapping sound. It breeds in May and deposits its two eggs on the sand, making no nest. These are dull pale greyish yellow with faint ashy grey shell-markings, and clay-yellow surface-blotches, and measure about 1.33 by 0.82.
There is considerable individual variation both in colour and size in this species, some being lighter and more isabelline, and others darker and greyer in tone of colour, but I cannot admit any of these even to subspecific rank Baron von Erlanger, however, describes the pale isabelline variety as a subspecies and figures (J. f. O. 1809, taf. xii.) the two extreme forms.

A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 1. 1902.
Title in Book: 
621. Caprimulgus Aegyptius
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
Page No: 
Common name: 
Egyptian Nightjar
Egyptian Nightjar
Caprimulgus aegyptius
Vol. 1

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