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European Nightjar

(Caprimulgus europaeus)
Alternate name(s): "Eurasian Nightjar", "Nightjar*"
Size: 24-28 cm; wing span 52-59 cm
Weight: 50-100 g (male), 65-95 g (female)


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

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See European Nightjar at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat

Click here for information on habitat and range


Click here for sighting information


Race "unwini"

This race is also called "Hume's Nightjar".



Near-lateral view of a male European Nightjar disturbed from its roost during daytime
[Campus of Sultan Qaboos University, near Muscat, April 2010]

Lateral view of a male European Nightjar
[Campus of Sultan Qaboos University, near Muscat, April 2010]

Race "meridionalis"

Photos of a European Nightjar, race "meridionalis", were obtained in Europe.


Like all other species of nightjars known to us, European Nightjars usually do not perch on shrubs or trees; they are either found on the ground or in the air.

Lateral view of a European Nightjar using its excellent camouflage to remain undisturbed while keeping an eye on its surroundings from a slightly elevated perch - "find the bird!"
[Campus of Sultan Qaboos University, near Muscat, April 2010]

European Nightjar seen dipping into the shade of a nearby tree
[Campus of Sultan Qaboos University, near Muscat, April 2010]

Food, Diet

European Nightjars are insect hunters.

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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