Family Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)

Least Concern

Andaman Nightjar (Caprimulgus andamanicus)


French: Engoulevent des Andaman German: Andamanen-Nachtschwalbe Spanish: Chotacabras de Andamán

Caprimulgus andamanicus

A. O. Hume

, 1873,

Andaman Islands


Closely related to C. atripennis, C. macrurus, C. manillensis and C. celebensis, and all five were formerly considered conspecific. Present taxon only recently separated from C. macrurus, from which it differs in its song being a quick series of a single, relatively weak, short “tyuk” (first note slightly farther apart from next than others), given in slightly longer but much faster runs than the deliberately spaced, loud, resonant “tyaunk” notes of macrurus (3); considerably smaller size, with proportionately shorter tail (wing 172–182, tail 125–130 vs 198–212, 156–172) (at least 2); blackish vs rufous-brownish mantle, and blackish vs rufous-buffy mid-belly with heavier barring (3); and proportionately smaller wing-spot (2)#R. It differs from the “adjacent” C. atripennis in its highly distinct song (see above) vs “a single loud, low-pitched, tremulous, musical CHEW dr’dr, first note clear, resonant, pealing and explosive, second much lower and hard, like a ball bouncing twice” (4); blackish vs chestnut-grey mantle (forming hindcollar in atripennis) and breast to belly (3); pure grey vs vermiculated grey crown (2)#R. Monotypic.


Andaman Is (probably all main islands and associated islets#R).

Descriptive notes

24–26 cm. A mid-sized, generally blackish-looking nightjar, with a paler grey crown marked with heavy black central streaks, paler lower mantle and tertials, black upper... read more


Song comprises a quickly-repeated and comparatively long series of relatively weak, short “tyuk”... read more


Found in open forests of teak (where fairly common), relatively open country with scattered trees... read more

Food and feeding

No information on diet and foraging behaviour, other than mention that species hawks over mangrove habitats at dusk, but both presumably... read more


Rather few data, especially compared to formerly conspecific C. macrurus. Season late Feb–Apr. Single-brooded, but may re-lay if... read more


None known and species is presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Population suspected to be stable in absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats. Considered to probably occur throughout the Andaman... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Andaman Nightjar (Caprimulgus andamanicus). 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 on 26 February 2020).