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Large-tailed Nightjar - BirdForum Opus

At roost with two youngsters, Subspecies C. m. bimaculatus
Photo © by SeeToh
Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore, May 2018
Caprimulgus macrurus


25–29 cm (9¾-11½ in)

  • Greyish-brown upperparts, with blackish-brown streaks

Sexually dimorphic


Day-time perch on a high bough, subspecies C. m. albonotatus
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India, September-2012

Southern Asia, northeast Pakistan, East Indies to northern and eastern Australia.


Andaman Nightjar C. andamanicus has been split from C. macrurus (Sangster & Rozendaal, 2004; Clements, 2007; Gill & Wright, 2008).


There are 6 subspecies[1]:

  • C. m. albonotatus:
  • C. m. bimaculatus:
  • North East India to southern China, Sumatra and Riau Archipelago
  • C. m. johnsoni:
  • C. m. salvadorii:
  • North Borneo, Labuan, Balambangan, Banguey and southern Sula islands
  • C. m. macrurus :
  • C. m. schlegelii:


They use a variety of habitats, showing a preference for areas with trees, mostly deciduous woodland and bamboo.



Their diet consists almost entirely of flying insects, such as moths, crickets, wasps and grasshoppers.


An unlined nest is made on ground. Their clutch contains 2 pale cream eggs, with brown spots. Incubation by female lasts 21–22 days; fledging period is about three weeks.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Sangster, G. and Rozendaal, F. G. (2004) Systematics on Asian birds, 41. Territorial songs and species-level taxonomy of nightjars of the Caprimulgus macrurus complex, with description of a new species. Zool. Verh. 350: 7-45.
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved June 2018)
  4. Animalia Life

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