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Great Eared Nightjar - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 11:00, 26 August 2023 by THEFERN-13145 (talk | contribs) (alt tax, alt nm)
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Subspecies cerviniceps (syn. bourdilloni). Photo by Biju.P.B
Kerala State, India, December, 2013

Includes: Sulawesi Eared Nightjar, Philippine Eared Nightjar, Simeulue Eared Nightjar, Monsoon Eared-nightjar, Pacific Eared-nightjar

Lyncornis macrotis

Eurostopodus macrotis


31–40 cm

  • Brown speckled and spotted buff upper parts
  • Noticeable ears

Sexes similar


Subspecies cerviniceps. Photo by James Eaton
Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam, March 2012

Asia: China, Tibet, India, Bangladesh
Southeast Asia: found in Indochina, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Malay Peninsula, Philippines, Indonesia, Greater Sundas, Sumatra, Sulawesi


Reference [3] uses an integrative approach to recommend splitting the species into 4: "Great Eared Nightjar", L. cerviniceps (sspp. bourdilloni, cerviniceps); "Simeulue Eared Nightjar", L. jacobsoni (jacobsoni); "Sulawesi Eared Nightjar", L. macropterus (macropterus) and "Philippine Eared Nightjar", L. macrotis (macrotis). It concludes that bourdilloni should be treated as a synonym of cerviniceps. Subspecies jacobsoni is genetically and vocally very close to cerviniceps but shows marked plumage differences. In contrast, subspecies macrotis and macropterus are indistinguishable but have deep divergent mitochondrial DNA and different vocalisations.

Reference [4] notes the species has been split into western and eastern species by some authors ("Monsoon Eared-nightjar", L. cerviniceps; subspecies bourdilloni, cerviniceps, jacobsoni, and "Pacific Eared-nightjar", L. macrotis; subspecies macrotis and macropteris respectively).

This taxon was formerly placed in the genus Eurostopodus.


Clements recognises the following subspecies [1]:

  • L. m. bourdilloni: "Great Eared Nightjar". South-western India
  • L. m. cerviniceps: "Great Eared Nightjar". Bangladesh and north-eastern India to southern China, Indochina and northern Malay Peninsula
  • L. m. jacobsoni: "Simeulue Eared Nightjar". Simeulue Island (off north-western Sumatra)
  • L. m. macrotis: "Philippine Eared Nightjar". Northern and eastern Philippine Islands
  • L. m. macropterus: "Sulawesi Eared Nightjar". Sulawesi, Talaud Island, Sangihe Island, Banggai Island and Sula Island


Primary and secondary forest and forest edges, often near water.



Their diet includes moths, beetles, termites etc. The hawk for these over forest clearings and nearby fields.


  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. Birdforum thread discussing Nightjar taxonomy
  3. Sangster, George & King, Ben & Irestedt, Martin & Ericson, Per. (2022). Integrative taxonomy of eared nightjars (Aves: Lyncornis) underscores the complementarity of morphology, vocalizations and DNA evidence. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. zlac037. 10.1093/zoolinnean/zlac037/6591392.
  4. Eaton, JA, B van Balen, NW Brickle, FE Rheindt 2021. Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago (Greater Sundas and Wallacea), Second Edition. Lynx Editions. ISBN978-84-16728-44-2
  5. Avibase
  6. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved July 2014)

Recommended Citation

External Links