Grey Nightjar

Scientific Name: Caprimulgus jotaka

Malay Name: Tukang Kelabu Timur

Chinese Name: 普通夜鹰

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

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: jotaka, hazarae.

Size: 28-32 cm

Identification: 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

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):


BirdLife International. (2016). Caprimulgus jotaka. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. Accessed on 1 January 2023

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