Monday, March 6

Savanna nightjar

   ›      ›   Savanna nightjar - Caprimulgus affinis

The savanna nightjar (Caprimulgus affinis) is a medium-sized nightjar belonging to the family Caprimulgidae.

These nightjar species are distributed in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, China and Southeast Asian countries. The savanna nightjar species are nocturnal birds with long pointed wings, short legs and short bills. There are ten recognized subspecies of these nightjars.

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

Savanna nightjar - Overview

  • Scientific name: Caprimulgus affinis
  • Species author: Horsfield, 1821
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Caprimulgus affinis Horsfield, 1821
  • Family: Caprimulgidae › Caprimulgiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Savanna nightjar, Chinese: 林夜鹰, French: Engoulevent affin, German: Savannennachtschwalbe, Spanish: Chotacabras de sabana, Russian: Саванний козодой, Japanese: シロアゴヨタカ, Malay: Burung Tukang Padi
  • Other names: Franklin's Nightjar
  • Distribution: India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Taiwan (China), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Timor-Leste
  • Diet and feeding habits: grasshoppers, moths, crickets, mantises, cicadas, beetles, dragonflies, flying termites, flies, flying ants
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)
The ten recognized subspecies of savanna nightjar (Caprimulgus affinis) are: C. a. affinis, C. a. monticolus, C. a. timorensis, C. a. amoyensis, C. a. kasuidori, C. a. stictomus, C. a. undulatus, C. a. griseatus, C. a. propinquus and C. a. mindanensis.

Appearance, physical description and identification

The savanna nightjar (Caprimulgus affinis) is a sexually dimorphic nightjar, measuring about 20 to 25 cm in length. The males weigh 50 to 85 grams and females weigh 75 to 110 grams.

The plumage of these species is cryptically colored to resemble bark or leaves. The overall plumage of these nightjar species is brown. The upperparts are brownish, having pale brown speckles and dark brown streaks and patches. The underparts are brown with bars.

The feet are short, of little use in walking. The gape is wide. The beak is short and has rictal bristles. The irises are dark brown. The wings are long and pointed. Their call is a loud, repetitive squeaky and often mechanical "kweek kweek" sound.
Indian birds - Picture of Savanna nightjar - Caprimulgus affinis
Birds of India - Image of Savanna nightjar - Caprimulgus affinis
Birds of India - Photo of Savanna nightjar - Caprimulgus affinis
Indian birds - Picture of Savanna nightjar - Caprimulgus affinis
Indian birds - Image of Savanna nightjar - Caprimulgus affinis
Birds of India - Photo of Savanna nightjar - Caprimulgus affinis by Brian Gratwicke

Origin, geographical range and distribution

These savanna nightjar species are distributed in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Taiwan (China), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines and Timor-Leste.

The nominate subspecies of savanna nightjar, C. a. affinis is distributed in Malaysia (southern Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo) and Indonesia (Sumatra, Borneo, Java, Lombok and Sulawesi islands). The subspecies C. a. amoyensis is distributed in south-eastern China and northern Vietnam.

The savanna nightjar subspecies C. a. timorensis is distributed in Indonesia (Alor, Timor, Rote and Kisar islands) and Timor-Leste. The subspecies C. a. kasuidori is distributed in Indonesia (Sumba and Sawu islands of Lesser Sundas). The subspecies C. a. stictomus is distributed in Taiwan.

The savanna nightjar subspecies C. a. undulatus is distributed in Indonesia (Sumbawa, Komodo and Flores islands of Lesser Sundas). The subspecies C. a. propinquus is distributed in Indonesia (Sulawesi). The subspecies C. a. griseatus is distributed in north-central Philippines.

The savanna nightjar subspecies C. a. mindanensis is distributed in south-eastern Philippines. The subspecies C. a. monticolus is distributed in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.

Ecosystem and habitat

These savanna nightjar species have low forest dependency. These species occur in altitudes from 0 to 2000 meters. These species inhabit artificial ecosystems like urban areas and open parks and roadside shrubs.

The natural ecosystem of these species includes subtropical and tropical mangrove vegetation, open woodlands, scrub jungle, temperate forests, deciduous forests, subtropical and tropical dry grasslands, shoreline, beaches, sand bars, subtropical and tropical savanna, savanna grasslands and grassy plains.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these savanna nightjar species is mostly large flying insects. Grasshoppers, moths, crickets, mantises, cicadas, beetles, dragonflies, flying termites, flies and flying ants are their primary food. They fly high above the ground, hawking insects before dawn and after dusk.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these savanna nightjar species is from April to August in India and Nepal. In Pakistan, the breeding season is in June and July. The laying season is from March to December in Indonesia.

These savanna nightjar species normally nest on ground scrape. The typical savanna nightjar clutch contains one cryptically colored egg. Both the parents have been observed to incubate the egg.

Migration and movement patterns

The savanna nightjar is a non-migrant resident bird.

Post breeding, the juveniles may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. They may make local movements for feeding and breeding within their range.

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the savanna nightjar (Caprimulgus affinis) has not been quantified. The overall population trend of these species is considered to be stable. Throughout its range it is reported to be common. The generation length is 5.6 years. Their distribution size is about 20,100,000 sq.km.

The savanna nightjar (Caprimulgus affinis) 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. Loss of habitat is the main threat that may endanger the survival of these species.

IUCN and CITES status

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the species 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 savanna nightjar (Caprimulgus affinis).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Caprimulgus affinis
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Caprimulgiformes
Family:Caprimulgidae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Caprimulgus
Species:C. affinis
Binomial name:Caprimulgus affinis
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
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1.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Caprim_affin_110818-16545_F_hsk.jpg
Image author: Wibowo Djatmiko (Wie146) | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
2.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Savannah_Nightjar_David_Raju.jpg
Image author: Davidvraju | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
3.Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Caprimulgus_affinis.jpg
Image author: Brian Gratwicke | License: CC BY 2.0
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