Tuesday, December 20

Large-tailed nightjar

   ›      ›   Large-tailed nightjar - Caprimulgus macrurus.

The large-tailed nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus) belongs to the family of nightjars, Caprimulgidae.

These nightjars are distributed in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Timor-Leste and Australia. The large-tailed nightjar species are locally common and abundant throughout much of their range. There are six recognized subspecies of these nightjars.

Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Large-tailed nightjar - Overview

  • Scientific name: Caprimulgus macrurus
  • Species author: Horsfield, 1821
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Caprimulgus macrurus Horsfield, 1821
  • Family: Caprimulgidae › Caprimulgiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Large-tailed nightjar, Chinese: 红角鸮, French: Petit-duc d’Orient German: Orient-Zwergohreule Spanish: Autillo oriental, Russian: Усурийская, Japanese: コノハズク, Indonesian: Burung Celepuk Asia, Malay: Burung Jampuk Kecil
  • Other names: Coffinbird, Long-tailed Nightjar, White-tailed Nightjar, graveyard nightjar
  • Distribution: Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Timor-Leste, Australia
  • Diet and feeding habits: large flying insects like moths, crickets, grasshoppers, cicadas, wasps
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)
The large-tailed nightjar is closely related to Jerdon's nightjar (Caprimulgus atripennis), Andaman nightjar (Caprimulgus andamanicus), Philippine nightjar (Caprimulgus manillensis) and Sulawesi nightjar (Caprimulgus celebensis).

The six recognized subspecies of the species Caprimulgus macrurus are: Caprimulgus macrurus schlegelii A. B. Meyer, 1874, Caprimulgus macrurus macrurus Horsfield, 1821, Caprimulgus macrurus salvadorii Sharpe, 1875, Caprimulgus macrurus johnsoni Deignan, 1955, Caprimulgus macrurus bimaculatus Peale, 1848 and Caprimulgus macrurus albonotatus Tickell, 1833.

Appearance, physical description and identification

The large-tailed nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus) is a medium-sized nocturnal bird, measuring 25 to 30 cm in length and weighing 55 to 90 grams.
The distinguishing characteristic of the large-tailed nightjar is the large, broad and long pale brown tail. These nightjar species are sexually dimorphic. The upperparts are grayish brown with blackish brown streaking. Their plumage resembles tree bark, dry leaves or sandy ground.

These nightjar species have small feet which are of little use for walking and useful only for perching. They perch along a branch, rather than across it and are completely camouflaged in the day light. The wings are long, narrow and pointed. The gray bill is short and there are bristles around the mouth. Their call is a continuous knocking, “tok, tok, tok, tok” sound.
Indian birds - Photo of Large-tailed nightjar - Caprimulgus macrurus
Birds of India - Image of Large-tailed nightjar - Caprimulgus macrurus
Birds of India - Picture of Large-tailed nightjar - Caprimulgus macrurus
Indian birds - Photo of Large-tailed nightjar - Caprimulgus macrurus
Image of Large-tailed nightjar - Caprimulgus macrurus
Birds of India - Picture of Large-tailed nightjar - Caprimulgus macrurus

Origin, geographical range and distribution

These large-tailed nightjar species are distributed in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Timor-Leste and Australia. The subspecies C. m. bimaculatus is distributed in Northeast India, China (Yunnan and Hainan Island).

The large-tailed nightjar subspecies C. m. albonotatus is distributed in northern Pakistan and northern and Northeast India, along the foothills of Himalayas, eastern India and Bangladesh. The subspecies C. m. johnsoni is distributed in southwest Philippines.

The large-tailed nightjar subspecies C. m. salvadorii is distributed in Borneo (Indonesia) and Philippine islands of Sulu. The subspecies C. m. macrurus is distributed in Java and Bali (Indonesia). The subspecies Caprimulgus macrurus schlegelii is distributed northern Australia, Lesser Sundas, New Guinea and Bismarck Archipelago.

Ecosystem and habitat

These large-tailed nightjar species have low forest dependency. They inhabit various ecosystems. They inhabit deciduous and open evergreen forests, farmlands, fallow agricultural fields, parks, rural gardens, plantations and degraded forests. They also inhabit submontane and montane moist subtropical or tropical forests, subtropical forests, dry tropical shrubland, temperate shrubland, subtropical or tropical mangrove forests, dry savanna, wetlands and temperate forests. They occur in altitudes from 0 to 2700 meters.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these nightjar species is mostly large insects. Insects like grasshoppers, locusts, cicadas, moths, beetles and wasps are the primary food. They are mostly active in the late evening, early morning and at night.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these large-tailed nightjar species is from March to May in northern India and Myanmar. The breeding season is from March to June in northern Thailand and is from January to September in Malaysia. They lay one or two eggs directly on bare ground.

Migration and movement patterns

These large-tailed nightjar species are sedentary and resident birds in their range.
Post breeding dispersal of the juveniles takes place. They may make local movements for feeding and breeding. Altitudinal movements may take place in winter.

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the large-tailed nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus) is not quantified. The overall population size of these nightjar species is considered to be stable. Throughout its ranges it is common and very abundant. Their generation length is 5.6 years.

The large-tailed nightjar does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable either under the range size criterion or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion. Habitat loss is the main threat to the survival of these species.

IUCN and CITES status

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the nightjar species Caprimulgus macrurus and has listed it as of "Least Concern". CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the large-tailed nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Caprimulgus macrurus
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Caprimulgiformes
Family:Caprimulgidae
Subfamily:Caprimulginae
Genus:Caprimulgus
Species:C. macrurus
Binomial name:Caprimulgus macrurus
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
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1.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Caprimulgus_macrurus_Bharatpur_Camouflage.jpg
Image author: Tanmay Haldar | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
2.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Large-tailed_nightjar.jpg
Image author: Saikat Show | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
3.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Large_tailed_nightjar12.jpg
Image author: Davidvraju | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
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