to the west of the place of our observation. Dippers were also seen here in summer. According to observations in 1958, 1961, and 1962, a pair of dippers, judging by their behavior, hatched chicks under the railway bridge across Vuoksa (Malchevsky, Pukinsky 1983).
Malchevsky A.S., Pukinsky Yu.B. 1983. Birds of the Leningrad Region and Adjacent Territories: History, Biology, Conservation. L., 2: 1-504.
Russian Ornithological Journal 2009, Volume 18, Express Issue 479: 689-691
On the nesting of the Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus in the Leningrad Region
Russian State Pedagogical University, Moika River Embankment, 48, St. Petersburg, 191186, Russia
Received February 1, 2009
We observed the nesting of the nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus in the southern part of the Leningrad Region from 1955 to 1969. During this time, 7 nests were found. This is not much, since the number of nightjars in the area of our research is small. However, there are places where these birds are much more common. For example, in Poland, in the area of the Lipa military training ground, the density of male nightjars is 41.6-47.2 individuals per 10 km2 (Gustaw, Fr ^ czek 2007).
We have already written that nightjars prefer to nest in pine forests, avoiding spruce-deciduous plantations (Prokofieva 1958). So, out of 7 nests we found, only one was located in a clearing with rare Christmas trees and birches. The rest of the nests were in different types of pine forests. Other researchers also found nightjar nests mainly in pine forests (Malchevsky, Neufeldt 1954, Malchevsky, Pukinsky 1983). True, in the Voronezh region, nightjars nest not only in pine forests, but also in oak plantations (Kadochnikov 1957). It should be noted that nightjars do not avoid the presence of people during nesting. They can nest even in the immediate vicinity of human settlements (Eliseev 1986).
We found nightjar eggs lying directly on green moss or pine needles. However, in other conditions, these birds may choose a different substrate for laying eggs. For example, on the island of Barsakel-
For a month in the Aral Sea, nightjars laid their eggs straight on bare ground or on scanty dry litter. desert shrubs, a thin layer of which is moved apart by the incubating birds by the end of incubation (Eliseev 1986).
It is known that the period of possible egg laying in the nightjar in the Leningrad region is 50-55 days. The earliest clutches were recorded in the last days of May, and the latest in the beginning of the second half of July. Late clutches are probably repeated (Malchevsky, Pukinsky 1983). We found 4 nests with eggs. The nest, discovered on June 24, contained completely non-hatched eggs. Other clutches were found on 1, 12 and 13 July.
One cannot but agree that the nightjar can only have one complete reproductive cycle per year. However, in the case of the death of clutches or chicks, repeated nesting often takes place, which, in particular, is reported by D.O. Eliseev (1986).
All nests we found had 2 eggs (4 nests) or 2 chicks (3). In some cases, a clutch may consist of only 1 egg (Eliseev 1986).
According to our observations, both the female and the male take part in incubating and caring for chicks. We, like many other researchers, had to observe how the birds raised from the nest try to "take away", pretending to be wounded. It was noted that the activity of nightjars increases with the appearance of chicks. The largest number of arrivals with food is observed in the evening hours. In bad weather, feeding activity is significantly reduced due to an increase in the time spent on heating the chicks (Gordienko 1972).
One of the 7 nests we found was destroyed. In 6 surviving nests, 5 out of 12 chicks died for various reasons.
The literature provides information that nightjars can get food not only on the fly, but also grab it from the ground and grass (Neifeldt 1958, Eliseev 1986). In general, three main methods of hunting in these birds are described: 1) pursuit of prey in flight, 2) looking out from the perch, and 3) capture on the ground (Meo77 ^ Cogliati 1991).
We have already reported that the bulk of the food for the nightjar chicks is made up of lepidoptera and caddisflies, and the parents in our case did not bring flightless forms (Prokofieva 1958). Noteworthy is the fact that in the food of nightjars, along with a large number of moths, beetles are also found (Popevsi and Voyrpas 1978). Sometimes beetles can make up a significant part of the diet (see, for example: Eliseev 1986). We are among 1120 specimens. only 6 beetles were found in insects taken from chicks by cervical ligatures. However, in the stomachs of adult nightjars, many dung beetles HovbtirvB were sometimes found (Novikov 2001).
Nightjars are one of the few birds that are completely insectivorous (Prokofieva 1961). In economic terms, the activity of nightjars should be considered useful, as they eat serious pests of forestry and agriculture, such as the winter moth Scotia segetum, the grain moth Hadena basilinea, the pine hawk moth Sphinx pinastri, the silver hole Phalera bucephala and the willow wolf (Leucoma salis8) ...
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