The Egyptian Nightjar had not been suspected of breeding in the Arabian Peninsula before 2010
September 10, 2017
Updated: September 10, 2017 06:57 PM
A species of bird once thought to be a rare guest to the UAE in the winter has now been found to be a regular breeder, according to a scientific paper published in Sandgrouse.
The Egyptian Nightjar breeds from Morocco to north-eastern Egypt and to southern Kazakhstan, but had not been suspected of breeding in the Arabian Peninsula before 2010.
Summer field surveys conducted by UAE birdwatchers since 2013 have now shown that the species is found regularly in the Ajban area, north-east of Abu Dhabi between March and September.
Breeding was confirmed in March 2016 and April this year.
Young birds were first seen by Emirati bird photographer, Mohammed Al Mazrouei, the Under-Secretary of the Court of the Ruler’s Representative in the Al Dhafra (Western) Region in Abu Dhabi.
"I am delighted to have played a small part in this discovery," said Mr Al Mazrouei.
His work along with that of Oscar Campbell and Mark Smiles, two local birdwatchers, led to the publishing of their paper, ‘The discovery of a breeding population of Egyptian Nightjars Caprimulgus aegyptius’, which reports on the five years of fieldwork in the Ajban area.
Up to five pairs, located by hearing the song of male birds, are believed to have been present earlier this year.