14 Jul 2019

Juvenile Egyptian Nightjars - Jubail

Whilst birding the Jubail area recently I came across good numbers of Egyptian Nightjars. I saw a number of birds that I assumed were juveniles due to their fresh plumage, but as I have not, knowingly, seen this age before sent some to Oscar Campbell in UAE as I knew he has seen some in recent years. Oscar kindly replied noting “you can be pretty confident these are all juveniles. The plumage is very fresh and smoothly soft, and they pretty much all have nice, neat white fringed coverts forming neat lines across the wing. Adults are really worn and grubby now and often look much darker; they never have the neat pale fringes, but may show erratic, dull buffy-cream covert spots”. We have no proof of breeding in KSA and as these birds are old enough to fly still have no conclusive evidence that they do breed in Kingdom but it looks very likely. We have assumed this to be the case for a few years but this is the first year juveniles have been conclusively seen. If they do breed in the Kingdom then the site where I see them may not be the breeding location and is more likely just used as a post breeding gathering location, as they are rarely seen, and then normally singly, in spring. These birds should now stay here until mid-September if other years are anything to go by. Numbers are increasing each year with at least 19 birds seen this year including at least six juveniles. There are possibly more as it is difficult to make sure you are not seeing, and counting, the same birds more than once.
Juvenile Egyptian Nightjar

Juvenile Egyptian Nightjar

Juvenile Egyptian Nightjar

Juvenile Egyptian Nightjar

Juvenile Egyptian Nightjar

Juvenile Egyptian Nightjar

Juvenile Egyptian Nightjar

Juvenile Egyptian Nightjar

Juvenile Egyptian Nightjar

Juvenile Egyptian Nightjar

Juvenile Egyptian Nightjar

Juvenile Egyptian Nightjar


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