THE SHORT-TAILED NIGHTHAWK IS A TREE NESTER

Short-tailed Nighthawk (Lurocalis semitorquatus) Science Article 1

abstract

A nest of the Short-tailedN ighthawk, Lurocalis semitorquatus noctivagus, was found in Panama.It was located on a 15-cm diameter, horizontal branch in an Erythrinafusca tree,6 m above ground. The tree was growing on the side of a pond in semi-open habitat, closeto old second-growth, lowland forest. The nestling period was at least 24 d. The nest wassimilar to that recently described for L. s. nattereri, confirming that unlike any other Caprimulgidae, this nighthawk is an arboreal nester. The validity of previous accounts of ground nesting by the species is questioned, and the finding is discussed in the context of the uncertain taxonomy of the Short-tailed Nighthawk complex, and of the evolution of ground nesting in Caprimulgiformes.

GILLES SEUTIN and MARK LETZER, J. Field Ornithol., 66(1):30-36

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