Observations on the Pauraque nightjar, Nyctidromus albicollis (Gmelin), on the roads at night.

Victor C. Quesnel


In an earlier study (Quesnel 1986) I concluded that the night jar Nyctidromus albicollis frequented roads at night mainly to feed but also to use them as stations from which to 'call in establishing territories or attracting mates. I also showed that the behaviour varied greatly with moon phase because there were many more birds on the roads at full moon than at new moon.

However, certain questions remained unanswered, chief of which were: 1. What is the sex ratio of the birds seen sitting on the roads? 2. Do the birds prefer to face the moon or away from it, or is there no preference? 3. Does moon phase affect the frequency of birds on the roads when they first come out at dusk? To answer these questions I conducted a new series of observations beginning on 1 August 1985 and continuing for one year.

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