1619. Caprimulgus europseus unwirii

(1619) Caprimulgus europaeus unwini Hume.
The HIMALAYAN NIGHTJAR.
Caprimulgus europoeus unwini, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iv, p. 359.
The Himalayan form of the European Nightjar breeds from Afghanistan, Baluchistan and Persia to Kashmir, Kuman and Garhwal.
It is entirely a hill bird, breeding at 5,000 feet upwards to at least 9,000 feet. In Sind, however, it breeds at much lower elevations, Ludlow obtained it at abont 1,000 feet in the Pabb Hills and Eates in the same place at abont the same elevation. Waite also found that it breeds in the Salt Range at low elevations. This Nightjar breeds both in scrub-jungle, open forest and on the barest and most stony of hills. In Murree Rattray obtained it breeding freely in comparatively thick jungle ; about Thal, near Kohat, it was also very common at about 1,500 feet, breeding in well-wooded nullahs in June and July, but here also its eggs were taken by him on very bare stony ground. These eggs Rattray at first believed to be those of mahrattensis, but afterwards he discovered his mistake and ascertained what they really were,
Osmaston took its eggs in Tehri-Garhwal and Chakrata, its Eastern limit, at 7,500 and 6,000 feet respectively, the eggs being deposited under rocks or trees on steep hill-sides covered with thin Oak-forest (Q, incana).
Waite says that in the Punjab Salt Range (Journ, Bomb, Nat, Hist, Soc. vol. xxxi, p. 822, 1926) this Nightjar nearly always lays its eggs “under the shelter of a bush, often one of fair size,” and that it may sometimes, be found on the steep and rocky sides of a ravine. The “foot” of a Santha-bush is a site often selected. In one such case a bird was flushed from an egg lying on a flat stone underneath the bush. The ground all round was littered with dry Santha-leaves, and the bird had apparently cleared the stone of them before laying her egg on it.
This Nightjar is a very late breeder even in its hottest haunts. Occasionally it lays in the second half of May, but most eggs are laid in June and many in July. It is not double-brooded.
The number of eggs laid is of course two, as with all other species of the genus.
They are exactly like those of the European bird except for being slightly smaller. The ground is white, very rarely faintly tinged with pink. Some eggs are spotted with black, the marks of fair size and scattered about the surface unequally over the whole egg ; underlying these are secondary blotches, scrawls and smears of pale lavender-grey. At the other extreme eggs may be obtained sparsely marked with grey and with no primary black spots at all. Others are marked with primary blotches and smears of light brown or rich vandyke-brown with secondary blotches as in the first type. Other eggs, again, are marbled all over with brown or with grey, while a few have added streaks or large smears of any one of the colours already mentioned.
In shape again they are similar to all other eggs of Caprimulgi, rather broad ellipses. The texture is fine and close and the surface glossed, often highly so.
Forty-four eggs average 29.9 x 21.2 mm. : maxima 33.1 x 23.2 and 31.9 x 28.7 mm. ; minima 27.6 x 21.1 and 29.5 x 20.0 mm.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1619. Caprimulgus europseus unwirii
Spp Author: 
Hume.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1619
Year: 
1934
Page No: 
478
Common name: 
Himalayan Nightjar
M_ID: 
7294
M_SN: 
Caprimulgus europaeus unwini
Volume: 
Vol. 3
id: 
14778

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