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13

Australian Owlet-nightjar

(Aegotheles cristatus)
Alternate name(s): "Little Nightjar", "Banded Goat-sucker", "Crested Goat-sucker", "Moth Owl"
Aboriginal name(s): "cristatus": "yoodjyn" (WA); "teringing"

Size: 21-25 cm
Weight: 35-65 g
Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Australian Owlet-nightjar at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "cristatus"

ADULT

Rufous-grey morphology

Frontal view of an Australian Owlet-nightjar peeking out of its hollow (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[St. Alban's, NSW, February 2011]

Frontal view, with sunlight from behind; besides the translucence of its tail feathers, its bristles are visible again
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, September 2008]

Lateral view of an Australian Owlet-nightjar peeking out of its hollow (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[St. Alban's, NSW, February 2011]

Lateral view of an Australian Owlet-nightjar; note the "hairy" appearance of the feathers on its head
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, September 2008]

The same Australian Owlet-nightjar as above, now with its head turned
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, September 2008]

Dorsal view of an Australian Owlet-nightjar in this view
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, September 2008]

Dark-grey morphology

Close-up lateral view of an Australian Owlet-nightjar in brilliant sunlight (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[St. Albans, NSW, February 2018]

Grey morphology with orange face and collar

Frontal view of an Australian Owlet-nightjar looking out of its hollow (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2018]

Frontal view of an Australian Owlet-nightjar looking out of its hollow
[Eulah Creek, NSW, August 2018]

Frontal view of an Australian Owlet-nightjar looking sideways
[Eulah Creek, NSW, August 2018]

Lateral view of an Australian Owlet-nightjar looking sideways
[Eulah Creek, NSW, August 2018]

Lateral view of an Australian Owlet-nightjar with its eyes closed
[Eulah Creek, NSW, August 2018]

Location of an Australian Owlet-nightjar hollow in a major trunk of an eucalypt tree
[Eulah Creek, NSW, August 2018]

Behaviour

As opposed to various species of nightjars known to us, Australian Owlet-nightjars do perch on shrubs or trees; they also use tree hollows for roosting (see photos above) and have NOT been found by us on the ground yet.

Food, Diet

Australian Owlet-nightjars are insect hunters.

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

ozowlet_20140319_3.mp3 cristatus
(NW NSW)
Contact call © MD
ozowlet_20140502_2.mp3 cristatus
(NW NSW)
Contact calls © MD
ozowlet_20151016_2.mp3 cristatus
(NW NSW)
Contact calls (Q&A) © MD
ozowlet_20140924.mp3 cristatus
(NW NSW)
Various (reaction to playback) © MD
ozowlet_20151016_1.mp3 cristatus
(NW NSW)
? © MD
ozowlet_20151016_4.mp3 cristatus
(NW NSW)
? © MD
ozowlet_20140502_3.mp3 cristatus
(NW NSW)
? © MD
ozowlet_20151016_3.mp3 cristatus
(NW NSW)
? © MD

The call sequence of an Australian Owlet-nightjar can be very slow. The following recording, taken during daylight hours (at about 8:30 in the morning), has calls separated by about 20 seconds each.

ozowlet_20140519_3.mp3 cristatus
(NW NSW)
Contact calls © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.