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Fiery-necked Nightjar - BirdForum Opus

Includes Black-shouldered Nightjar

Caprimulgus pectoralis


Length 23-25 cm; mass 46-66 g.

Adult male: Crown grey with silvery speckles and black stripes; nape (broad nuchal collar) rufous to tawny with black and buff speckles; rest of upperparts greyish brown with black patches. Tail dark brown with greyish central feathers; the outer two pairs of rectrices have broad white tips. The moustache and triangular throat patch are white. Bill black and eyes, legs and feet dark brown. White wing-patches conspicuous in flight (as in most African nightjars).

Adult female: Similar to the male, but the white wing patches may be buffy, and the white tail patches are smaller.


Subspecies differ in how obvious the pale collar around the neck and throat is, as well as in overall color and barring on underside.


Africa south of the Sahara.


Photo by jdbirdman
Sokoke Forest, Kenya, August 2005


There are 5 supspecies[1]:

Subspecies nigriscapularis was formerly considered a full species, Black-shouldered Nightjar.


Woodland, savanna, timber plantations and gardens.



The song is a characteristic whistle Good Lord, deliver us - an iconic sound of the African night.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2023. IOC World Bird List (v 13.1)_red. Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.13.1. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/

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External Links

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