Band-winged Nightjar

Information about the Bird Band-winged Nightjar

Over its large range, there are significant variations in its morphology, but, as suggested by its common name, it always has a distinctive band in the wing (best visible in flight), which is white in the male, buff in the female. Tschudi's nightjar was formerly considered a subspecies, but is now been evaluated as a distinct species.The band-winged nightjar or greater band-winged nightjar (Systellura longirostris) is a species of nightjar in the Caprimulgidae family, in the genus Systellura. It is widespread in South America, where found in the Andes, Venezuelan Coastal Range, Santa Marta Mountains, Tepuis, most of Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and eastern Brazil. It occurs in a wide range of habitats, from the edge of humid montane forest to shrubby semi-deserts (e.g. in south-eastern Brazil, it may even roost on roofs in major cities), but it strictly avoids tropical humid lowland forests such as the Amazon.

Neotropical nightjar has a mean length that varies from 20-27 cm (for Ecuador goes from 21.5 to 23cm). Before it was classified in the genus Systellura, according to a morphological characterization there can be two group of subspecies beside distributed in different regions, the first one characterizes for having a greyish-brown color (lowering regions in middle, east and south of range) and the other subspecie has a blackish-brown coloration (north and west in uplands). All individuals in each group are presumably to vary in coloration and are sexually dimorphic. Iris, bill, legs and feet vary from a brown to a blackish-brown. At the upper side a greyish-brown, blackish-brown, brownish orange, pale yellowish brown and greyish-white coloration can be distinguished. The rear of the neck is from a brownish orange to a yellowish brown. Wing-coverts acquire a greyish-brown coloration accompanied with dense spotted yellowish to greyish brown. Scapulars are blackish-brown. In males sometimes white and in females sometimes a yellowish brown mark around the lower throat. Belly and flanks become brown or yellowish brown. When flight sights, male has a white marks at the edge of the first four primaries, as well with a white band on the first and fourth rectrices. The female does not possess the white mark on the tail.
The face can be greyish-brown with brown marks; crown and margins of the forehead are greyish-white. A yellowish brown to brownish orange collar is formed at the edges of the neck. Dorsal side has dark greyish-brown coloration with some blackish-brown spots. Alula and the edges of the wing-coverts are white. Background of wing-coverts is predominantly brown, spotted yellowish brown with brown spots. Scapulars are blackish-brown, with yellowish brown dots and brown spots. The Primaries 7th-10th and the secondary feathers are brown with a midway white streak; the contour of P6-P1 is yellowish brown by the edges and brownish orange with small brown marks. Tertiaries feathers are greyish-brown with brown dots. Tail is mainly brown; with white marks at the third and fifth rectrices with brownish orange and yellowish brown as contour, usually a 10mm white band is marked across half of the midd-upper innerweb, with white dots with yellowish brown at the outer edge over the band in third and second rectrices. Chin and upper throat yellowish brown, prominent white band at the bottom of the throat. Breast, belly, flanks and ventral coverts vary from greyish-brown or brown to a yellowish brown.
Females unlike males have a yellowish brown throat; across the 7th-10th primaries a brownish orange to yellowish brown in denoted and tail lacks white marks.
Similar to the adults but less specked, with a small brownish orange band narrow at the primary feathers.
According to a studied carried in Crdoba, Argentina Systellura longirostrisfledglings are born with a cryptic plumule, that helps them blend with the ground material to avoid predation, it takes aproximately eight days for the coloration of the plumage to start resembling that of the adults. They hatch with their eyes partially opened and stay motionless during the first day. The first flights or short glides begin since the 12th day, and always under the vigilance of an adult (it is not specified if the care is shared by parents or is it just one), displacement of fledglings increases with the time. The weight of the egg is approximately 3.03 g and the fledglings 4.63 0.25 g.
The tones can be variable, the territorial tone is a high-sharp whistle, seeeeert sweeeert seeeet, constantly repeated every 1 to 3 seconds. Whistles can be heard at dusk or dawn. The flight whistle is usually heard during the breeding season as a high-cheet. Females when flushed produce nasal sound like tchree-ee.
It-s cosmopolitan specie that can be found from 0-4200m. Syterulla longirostris can be found from the edge of forest to semi-arid shrub lands and even in open areas, even in the roof of buildings. They are mainly nocturnal birds. They can roost in a variety of environments from the ground forest to buildings. In Rio Syterulla longirostris have shown a behavioural plasticity, since it roost near source of light to eat insects that are attracted. When flashed the usual response is evasion, by flying away with irregular wing-beats and then roosts again in a proximate site. No further information available.
Like Caprimulgiformes they feed on insects, mainly moths, beetles and termites. No further data available
The breeding season for the West of Venezuela goes from February-September; For Ecuador, Colombia and Chile, is believed to be around late July, February to November and November, respectively; as for Argentina and SE Brazil (Ro de Janeiro) from September to October. Breeding season is still widely unknown. This specie doesn-t construct a nest; eggs are laid on a ground depression in-between dense vegetation, bare ground, and side of roads, among others. Normally they lay 1-2 elliptical eggs each breeding season, normally they vary from creamy pink, whitish, spotted brown, lilac and grey. The dimension for the eggs are 25,64mm1,07x19,81 mm 0,63 y 4,95 g 0,68. The asynchrony of the laid eggs can cause differences in the dimensions among eggs of the same clutch. In courtship male bends over to the ground indicating the rectices to show the white spots on them. A period of 17 days takes the eggs to hatch. Females invest intense periods of time during the day (830 18 min), males normally spent 20% their time to hatch. Parents normally abandon the nest during dust or dawn; there is no evidence of parents moving eggs from the nest. Further investigation is needed.
Wing: male 162-163 Female 163-167 Tail: male 117-128 female 117-121 Bill: male 16-19.4 female 15-19.7 Tarsus: male 20.7-22 female 18.2-21 Weigh: male 44.5-50g female 42-56.6g. In Argentina 58 g male was recorded.
Eight subspecies have been recognized, but two new subspecies, one from Chile and another from Brazil, have been described within the last few years. It has recently been suggested that both S. l. roraimae and S. l. ruficervix should be treated as separate species.

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