Family Owlet-nightjars (Aegothelidae)

Least Concern

Feline Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles insignis)


French: Grand Égothèle German: Käuzchenschwalm Spanish: Egotelo grande
Other common names: Large Owlet-nightjar

Aegotheles insignis


, 1876,

Hatam, Arfak Mountains, New Guinea


Previously placed with A. tatei and A. crinifrons in genus Euaegotheles. Until recently treated as conspecific with A. tatei, but studies suggest that the two are separate species#R#R. Birds of SE New Guinea formerly separated as race pulcher. Monotypic.


Mountains of New Guinea from Vogelkop E to Huon Peninsula and to SE (Owen Stanley Range).

Descriptive notes

28–30 cm; 59–85 g. Probably the largest of the owlet-nightjars. Mainly brown or dark rufous, upper­parts with few whitish spots or streaks and prominent... read more


Little known, although rising series of slightly trilled “owrr” notes and single or... read more


Montane forest, especially primary forest and edges, but also reported from second growth and from... read more

Food and feeding

Gut contents show that diet consists of insects, including beetles. Feeding behaviour has not been described.


Season little known; birds in breeding condition collected Apr, May, Aug and Sept and a fledgling in Nov. Nest-site presumed to be a tree-... read more


Presumed to be essentially sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Widespread and, where much forest habitat remains in the mountains of New Guinea, species can be at least locally frequent, e.g. frequently recorded... read more

Recommended citation

Holyoak, D.T. (2020). Feline Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles insignis). 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 19 February 2020).