Nightjars

Caprimulgidae

Taxonomy Version: IOC 10.2
family
Taxonomy Ranking
Level Rank Scientific Name

Nightjars are nocturnal or crepuscular birds with cryptic plumages, small feet and long wings, which rely on their camouflage while resting up during the day and feed at night on moths and other flying insects. They have gaping bills and bristles to help them catch their prey in flight. The New World species, often called nighthawks, are separated from the typical nightjars (Caprimulginae) into a separate family, Chordeilinae, and a third subfamily, the Eurostopodinae, lack "rictal" bristles around the gape. Caprimulgids are found on all continents except Antarctica.

  • Collared Nightjar - Madagascar © Andrew Moon

  • Lyre-tailed Nightjar - Chocó © Birdguide

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