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Sulawesi Nightjar - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 16:52, 18 June 2023 by THEFERN-13145 (talk | contribs) (→‎Distribution)
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Photo by kctsang
Tangkoko, N. Sulawesi, Indonesia, August 2009
Caprimulgus celebensis


24 - 30 cm. Sexes similar

  • upperparts greyish-brown streaked blackish-brown
  • no (full) nuchal collar: half (hind) nuchal collar buff
  • lesser coverts dark brown speckled tawny and buff
  • rest of wing-coverts greyish-brown, boldly spotted buff, pale buff and tawny
  • scapulars blackish-brown with buffish edges
  • throat patch white
  • underparts greyish-brown, speckled and spotted brown, greyish-white and buff, becoming buff barred brown on belly and flanks
  • Outer wing dark but second, third and fourth outermost primaries have white spot
  • two outermost tail feathers have (fairly extensive) white tips

Subspecies jungei has smaller white tips to the two outermost tail feathers.

Similar species

Satanic Nightjar has smaller white patches in the wings and no white in the tail. It is darker and more spotted.

Savannah Nightjar has a shorter tail and is more uniform (grey upperparts, tail and inner wing of Sulawesi contrasting with other darker plumage). Male has more white in outer tail feathers than Sulawesi, female less.

Great Eared Nightjar has uniform rufous wings with no white, pale scapulars and a dark body. It has a thin white (front) to buff nuchal collar and no white throat.

Large-tailed Nightjar is extra-limital but might conceivably occur. It is larger and less plain with larger white wing spots.


Endemic to north Sulawesi and Sulu Islands, Indonesia. A locally fairly common restricted-range species. Most often seen in Tangkoko Nature Reserve.


Two subspecies recognized:

  • C. c. celebensis on Sulawesi and Butung Island
  • C. c. jungei on Sula Islands (Taliabu and Mangole)

Sometimes considered conspecific with Philippine Nightjar.


Moist lowland forests and mangrove forests. Also in secondary forest and coastal bushes.



Feeds probably on insects.
Hawks after prey in agile and buoyant flight.


No information.


Presumably a sedentary species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2015. IOC World Bird Names (version 5.2). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved June 2015)

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