Family Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)

Least Concern

Bates's Nightjar (Caprimulgus batesi)


French: Engoulevent de Bates German: Waldnachtschwalbe Spanish: Chotacabras de Bates
Other common names: Forest Nightjar

Caprimulgus batesi


, 1906,

River Dja, Cameroon




Patchily S Cameroon, SW Central African Republic, Gabon and Congo E through parts of DRCongo to W Uganda.

Descriptive notes

29–31 cm; (unsexed) 89–112 g. Sexually dimorphic. Upperparts and wing-coverts dark brown, broadly streaked, spotted and speckled blackish-brown, buff and tawny;... read more


Song of male is a loud “whow, whow, whow, whow”, given from perches and occasionally ground. Flight... read more


Mainly lowland primary rainforest, in clearings and along forest edges; also thick secondary forest... read more

Food and feeding

Diet includes mantises, crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, moths and ants. Foraging methods poorly documented. Forages above and among forest... read more


Poorly known. Breeds Dec–Jan in Gabon, Feb–Mar (possibly Nov–Jul) in Cameroon, and possibly all year in Zaire (Haut Zaire... read more


None documented. Sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Considered potential candidate for listing as threatened species. Possibly locally common in rainforests throughout range. Locally common in N Congo... read more

Recommended citation

Cleere, N. (2020). Bates's Nightjar (Caprimulgus batesi). 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 30 March 2020).