Working for birds in Africa

First reliable sound recording of Golden Nightjar Caprimulgus eximius, in the rocky hills of central Mali.

p 49-55

We obtained the first definite tape-recording of Golden Nightjar Caprimulgus eximius near Gao in the Sahel of Mali, in June 2004. Using playback, the singing birds were examined at close range, just before and until dawn. The song consists of a prolonged churr, of 23 notes / second, and appears virtually identical to that of Plain Nightjar C. inornatus (tape-recorded in Yemen and Nigeria outside the area of sympatry). In Mali (Douentza to Gao) and elsewhere C. eximius is clearly associated with rocky hills and stony tracts, whilst feeding can occur in the surrounding arid plains. Outside the area of sympatry, to the south and east of the range of C. eximius, C. inornatus is also associated with rocky hills, or at least pebbly grassland (sometimes in montane areas). It remains to be seen how these two similarly churring nightjars are segregated ecologically in the area of sympatry.

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