Family Owlet-nightjars (Aegothelidae)

Least Concern

Barred Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles bennettii)


French: Égothèle de Bennett German: Bennettschwalm Spanish: Egotelo barrado

Aegotheles bennettii

Salvadori and D’Albertis

, 1875,

Hall Sound, south-east New Guinea


Regarded as conspecific with A. cristatus until the latter was discovered to occur in New Guinea within the range of present species, but the two are evidently close relatives. Until recently regarded as conspecific with A. affinis (which see). Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. b. wiedenfeldi Laubmann, 1914 – N New Guinea E from Idenburg R.
  • A. b. bennettii Salvadori & D’Albertis, 1875 – S coast of SE New Guinea from Koembe R E to Milne Bay.
  • A. b. plumifer E. P. Ramsay, 1883 – Fergusson I and Goodenough I (D’Entrecasteaux Archipelago).
  • Descriptive notes

    20–23 cm; 45–47 g. Sexes apparently similar, and there appears to be no polymorphic variation. Upperparts (including wing-coverts) dark brown to blackish brown or... read more


    Call has been described as a deep trill or a descending, hollow “churr”, with the song... read more


    Mainly lowland forests and their edges, up to c. 1100 m elevation (race plumifer),... read more

    Food and feeding

    No information available.


    Very little information. A recently fledged juvenile collected in Oct, a female collected with eggs in the ovary in late Dec, and a nest... read more


    Apparently sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Nominate race appears to be not uncommon, but there is very little recent information on the status of the other subspecies. Nevertheless,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Holyoak, D.T. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Barred Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles bennettii). 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 22 February 2020).