Family Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)

Least Concern

Mozambique Nightjar (Caprimulgus fossii)


Taxonomy

French: Engoulevent du Mozambique German: Welwitschnachtschwalbe Spanish: Chotacabras de Fosse
Other common names: Square-tailed Nightjar, Gabon Nightjar
Taxonomy:

Caprimulgus Fossii

Hartlaub

, 1857,

Gabon

.

Closely related to C. climacurus and C. clarus, and all three have frequently been placed in a separate genus, Scotornis. Formerly considered conspecific with C. clarus. Race mossambicus often subsumed within welwitschii, but appears worthy of recognition#R. Four subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. f. fossii Hartlaub, 1857 – N & SW Gabon, and possibly SW Congo.
  • C. f. welwitschii Bocage, 1867 – S DRCongo, N & W Zambia, Angola, N Namibia and N Botswana.
  • C. f. mossambicus W. K. H. Peters, 1868 – SE DRCongo and S Tanzania S to Zimbabwe, Mozambique and NE & E South Africa.
  • C. f. griseoplurus Clancey, 1965 – Kalahari Desert (Botswana) and extreme N South Africa.
  • Non-breeding visitor N to N DRCongo, Uganda and S Kenya.

    Descriptive notes

    23–24 cm; male 54–68 g, female 47–77 g, Sexually dimorphic. Upper­parts generally dark greyish-brown, heavily speckled greyish-white; broad buff or... read more

    Voice

    Song of male is a distinctive churr that rises in pitch and then levels off, occasionally ending... read more

    Habitat

    Mainly open woodland or scrub, wooded grassland, and sandy country near water: mopane woodland and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet includes moths, beetles, grasshoppers, winged termites, ants and bugs. Forages by hawking for prey low over ground or water. Also... read more

    Breeding

    Breeds Jun on Pemba I, Oct on Zanzibar, Sept–Dec in S Burundi, S Tanzania and Mozambique, Sept–Nov in Malawi, Zambia and... read more

    Movements

    Nominate race probably sedentary. Race welwitschii possibly sedentary in parts of range,... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Very common to locally abundant throughout much of range. Locally common (perhaps seasonally) in S Kenya; widespread and common in S Zaire, C & S... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cleere, N. (2017). Mozambique Nightjar (Caprimulgus fossii). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/55241 on 25 September 2017).