Order: Caprimulgiformes

Family:  Caprimulgidae

Scientific name: Caprimulgus indicus, Latham, 1790

IUCN Red list status-Least Concern

Did you know?

  1. Jungle Nightjar is also known as Grey Nightjar.


The Jungle Nightjar is a small nocturnal bird, measuring 21 to 25 cm in length and 60 to 100 grams in weight. The upper part is greyish-brown with blackish brown streaks. The crown region is also streaked blackish brown. The tail is gray, having well separated narrow black bars. There is a white broken throat patch in the male, but it is rufous in the female. They have long wings, short legs and very short bills. Their plumage resembles bark or leaves and gives them the best camouflage with the surroundings


The diet of Jungle Nightjar mostly consists of large insects like cicadas, grasshoppers, mantises, beetles and moths. They may catch the prey while flying or pick it up from the ground.  The forage time is before dawn and after dusk and is done solitarily or rarely in pairs. The food hunting is done during night also.


The habitat of Jungle Nightjar includes evergreen forests, deciduous forests, mixed bamboo forests, scrub jungles etc. In India it is distributed throughout the union except Rajasthan and Kutch with difference in the races. It is found in Sri Lanka also.

Reproductive Behaviour

The breeding season of is from January to June. The male establishes his territory and sings at night to keep rivals away and also to attract a female. No nests are made by them. Normally two eggs are laid on the bare patch of ground. The incubation of 16-17 days and young ones care are shared by both parents.


The call is a distinctive repeated “chukoo-chukoo-chukoo” sound.

Related Species and Sub Species

  • Indian Nightjar (Caprimulgus asiaticus).
  • Jerdon’s Nightjar (Caprimulgus atripennis).
  • Grey Nightjar (Caprimulgus jotaka).
  • Caprimulgus indicus indicus of India
  • Caprimulgus indicus kelaarti of Sri Lanka.

Migratory Behaviour

Common Resident