Contents of report
Breeding Bird Survey
Common Birds Census
Constant Effort Sites
Nest Record Scheme
Waterways Bird Survey
What the categories mean
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NIGHTJAR Caprimulgus europaeus
Conservation Listings Long term trend

Table 2/Red
(>=50% Distribution decline)
Biodiversity Steering Group
Priority Species List

UK: Increase

Status Summary
Having suffered a decline in range of more than 50% between breeding atlases, the 1992 national survey revealed a welcome increase of 50% in population size since 1981, probably due to increased availability of young forest habitat as plantations have been felled and replanted (Morris et al. 1994). The apparent increase in nest failure rates at the chick stage are probably an artefact of very small sample sizes in the early years. (Nest Record Scheme data for 1996-99 will soon be added to this dataset.)
Annual breeding population estimates for this species
are not currently monitored by BTO
Table of productivity information for Nightjar
Variable Period
Years Mean
Trend Predicted
in first year
in last year
Change Comment
Clutch size 27 1968-1995 16 Linear decline 1.99 eggs 1.91 eggs -0.08 eggs Small sample
Brood size 27 1968-1995 24 None       Small sample
Daily failure rate (eggs) 27 1968-1995 20 None       Small sample
Daily failure rate (chicks) 27 1968-1995 20 Linear increase 0.0019 nests/day 0.0167 nests/day 0.0148 nests/day Small sample
Laying date 27 1968-1995 18 None       Small sample


Insufficient data on CES
available for this species




The report should be cited as: Baillie, S.R., Crick, H.Q.P., Balmer, D.E., Bashford, R.I., Beaven, L.P., Freeman, S.N., Marchant, J.H., Noble, D.G., Raven, M.J., Siriwardena, G.M., Thewlis, R. and Wernham, C.V. (2001) Breeding Birds in the Wider Countryside: their conservation status 2000. BTO Research Report No. 252. BTO, Thetford. (

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