Family Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)

Least Concern

Brown Nightjar (Veles binotatus)


French: Engoulevent à deux taches German: Bootschwanz-Nachtschwalbe Spanish: Chotacabras bimaculado

Caprimulgus binotatus


, 1850,

Borneo; error = Ashanti, Dabocrom, Ghana


Previously placed in genus Caprimulgus, but later returned to monotypic Veles, which had earlier been erected for this species. Distinctive morphological peculiarities (including small “ear-tufts”, stiff rectrices held in inverted V-shape at rest, curved outer primaries) suggest that current treatment is appropriate. Monotypic.


Sierra Leone#R#R E discontinuously to C DRCongo, where restricted to rainforest zone.

Descriptive notes

21–23 cm; one unsexed 63 g. Sexes similar, but female somewhat paler above. Upperparts and wing-coverts dark brown, densely mottled and flecked tawny and chestnut-brown... read more


Song of male is a repetitive, metallic series of “twoh” or “kliou” notes (... read more


Mainly lowland primary rainforest, both evergreen and semi-evergreen types, often with open canopy... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds on insects, mainly at dusk. Forages by making flycatching sallies from perches, usually hawking close to forest canopy (sometimes 35... read more


Poorly known. Possibly breeds Jan–Mar in Liberia, Feb–Mar in Central African Republic, and Dec, May–Jun in Cameroon.... read more


None recorded. Sedentary. Territories often at 750–1000 m intervals in large tracts of... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Possibly eligible for listing as threatened species. Probably uncommon to rare throughout range and generally confined to lowland rainforest;... read more

Recommended citation

Cleere, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Brown Nightjar (Veles binotatus). 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 28 February 2020).