Working for birds in Africa

Brief remarks on the status, distribution and taxon of Nubian Nightjar in Ethiopia

pp 62-64

Bref commentaire sur le statut, la répartition et le taxon de l’Engoulevent de Nubie Caprimulgus nubicus en Éthiopie.

Quatre spécimens de l’Engoulevent de Nubie Caprimulgus nubicus torridus, recueillis dans le sud de l’Éthiopie en novembre 1970, suggèrent que l’espèce est plus répandue, tant sur le plan géographique que temporel, qu’on ne le pensait. Des recherches plus poussées sur le statut et la taxinomie de l’espèce sont clairement requises.

In their review of the status and distribution of birds in Ethiopia and Eritrea, Ash & Atkins (2009) reported that Nubian Nightjar Caprimulgus nubicus is represented by two subspecies in this region. C. n. tamaricis is a common winter visitor to Eritrea (records dated early August to May). C. n. torridus occurs in Ethiopia, and Ash & Atkins (2009) apparently considered it to be an intratropical migrant from further south in Africa, present between the third week of January and late July, but known from just nine widely scattered records, of which only three were definitely assigned to this subspecies (although not explicitly stated, that from Bulcha in January 1974 is a female, mass 51.8 g, now at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC; USNM 569428). Other records ascribed to the same taxon are available from immediately adjacent areas of Somalia, where the species is believed to breed (Ash & Miskell 1998). Unfortunately, Ash & Atkins (2009: 62) admitted that their search for specimen data from Ethiopia and Eritrea was not exhaustive away from the Natural History Museum, Tring (NHMUK), making it potentially unsurprising that four specimens held in the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (MNHN), in Paris, should meaningfully add to the information presented in the Ash & Atkins atlas. Details of these are presented in Table 1 (see also Figs. 1–3).

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