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White-throated Nightjar

(Eurostopodus mystacalis)
Alternate name(s): "Night Hawk", "Moth Hawk",; misnomers: "Fern Owl", "Laughing Owl"
Aboriginal name(s): "yahdh" [western bundjalung]; "dinggan" [ngadjon]

Size: 32-37 cm
Weight: 80-155 g


Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See White-throated Nightjar at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range


Click here for sighting information


Race "mystacalis"


Sex unknown

(Bad) lateral view of a White-throated Nightjar on the ground; the white throat is clearly visible; in this shot taken with a flash one can also see that White-throated Nightjars have reflective plumage; this is the bird whose calls were recorded on 9 December 2017
[Timmallallie NP, NSW, December 2017]


White-throated Nightjars usually do not perch on shrubs or trees; they are either found by us on the ground or in the air.


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.

wtnight_20181010_3.m4a mystacalis
Contact call © MD
wtnight_20181010_4.m4a mystacalis
Contact call © MD
wtnight_20191014.m4a mystacalis
Contact call © MD
wtnight_20181010_6.m4a mystacalis
Contact calls © MD
wtnight_20240228_1.m4a mystacalis
Contact calls (long sequence) © MD
wtnight_20171209.m4a mystacalis
Contact calls (with Superb Fairy-wren response) © MD
wtnight_20181010_2.m4a mystacalis
Contact calls (with Eastern Yellow Robin) © MD
wtnight_20181010.m4a mystacalis
Grunting call + contact call (with Eastern Yellow Robin) © MD
wtnight_20191127.m4a mystacalis
Grunting calls © MD

More White-throated Nightjar sound recordings are available at .

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.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.