Grey Nightjar

Scientific Name: Caprimulgus jotaka
Malay Name: Tukang Kelabu Timur
Chinese Name: 普通夜鹰

Breeding Range: Himalayas to East and South-east Asia.
Nonbreeding Range: Indian subcontinent, mainland South-East Asia to Indonesia and Philippines.

Polytypic. Subspecies are: jotaka, hazarae.

Size: 28-32 cm

Dark, greyish bird. Smaller and with a darker crown compared to Large-tailed.

Male: No rufescent tinge on nape, heavier black vermiculation on upperparts. Smaller white throat patch. Darker breast, scapulars less contrasting, with black, buff and whitish bars overall; show less obvious whitish to buff bars across wing coverts. In flight, small white wing patches and tail patches.

Female: Wing patches smaller than male and buff, and lack any obvious white tail patches.

Similar looking species: Large-tailed Nightjar, Savanna Nightjar

Habitat: On migration, found in primary forest, secondary growth, plantations and wooded parks.

Behaviour/Ecology: Usually seen perched on taller tree branches in daytime. Active nighttime.

Local Status: Uncommon migrant.

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)


BirdLife International. (2016). Caprimulgus jotaka. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. Accessed on 19 December 2021

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.