Identification of different song types in the European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus

Docker, S., Lowe, A. and Abrahams, C. ORCID: 0000-0003-0301-5585, 2020. Identification of different song types in the European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus. Bird Study. ISSN 0006-3657

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Abstract

Capsule: Two distinct song types were identified for male European Nightjars Caprimulgus europaeus with their relative frequency of use changing through the breeding season, indicating a possible link to paired status.

Aims: To test whether two song types could be defined in audio recordings and whether use differed in relation to the paired status of males.

Methods: Unattended acoustic recording devices were placed at a Nightjar study site in Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom, and recordings of churring vocalizations were made during two periods of the breeding season. These recordings were then analyzed to identify the presence/absence of the song terminal phrase and associated audible features.

Results: Two distinct song types were identified in the recorded audio data that differed in their terminal phrasing and overall song duration. The number of Nightjar songs with a terminal phrase increased significantly between the two sampling periods, from lower levels during the site arrival period, to higher levels during the first clutch initiation period.

Conclusion: This study showed that the use of Nightjar song types appears to vary through the breeding season, with males being more likely to produce song with a terminal phrase during the first clutch initiation period, when they are more likely to be paired or in the presence of a female. The unattended acoustic recording method may provide a minimally intrusive means of assessing the number of Nightjar breeding pairs and not just singing males.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Bird Study
Creators: Docker, S., Lowe, A. and Abrahams, C.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date: 18 June 2020
ISSN: 0006-3657
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1080/00063657.2020.1780414DOI
1336333Other
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 23 Jun 2020 16:11
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2020 16:14
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/40090

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