Large-tailed Nightjar

Scientific Name: Caprimulgus macrurus

Malay Name: Tukang Biasa

Chinese Name: 长尾夜鹰

Range: Breeding Range: North-eastern Indian subcontinent stretching to China on the eastern end, and towards northern Australia on the southern end. Common resident across South-east Asia.

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: albonotatus, bimaculatus, macrurus, salvadorii, johnsoni, schlegelii.

Local Subspecies: bimaculatus

Size: 31.5-33 cm

Identification: Male: Largest and most frequently encountered nightjar. Pale crown with dark median stripe, prominent row of black scapulars with broad buff/whitish-buff outer fringes. Large area of white/buffish-white on lower throat. Brownish tail with uneven dark bars. Often showing rufescent tinge to nape. Prominent whitish to buff bars across wing coverts. In flight, large white patches on primaries and distal part of outer tail feathers.Female: Paler and greyer on upperparts and breast. Smaller buff coloured wing patches. Duller buffish/whitish buff tail patches.

Similar looking species: Malaysian Eared Nightjar, Grey Nightjar, Savanna Nightjar

Habitat: Commonly found in secondary forest, forest edge, plantations and wooded parks.

Behaviour/Ecology: Usually seen on the ground in daytime. Active in nighttime.

Local Status: Very common resident

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)


BirdLife International. (2016). Caprimulgus macrurus. 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.

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