Family Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)

Least Concern

Golden Nightjar (Caprimulgus eximius)


French: Engoulevent doré German: Prachtnachtschwalbe Spanish: Chotacabras dorado

Caprimulgus eximius


, 1826,

Sennar, Sudan


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. e. simplicior E. J. O. Hartert, 1921 – S Mauritania and N Senegal E to C Chad.
  • C. e. eximius Temminck, 1826 – S & C Sudan.
  • Descriptive notes

    23–25 cm; one male 66·3 g, one female 42·1 g. Sexes similar. Upperparts and wing-coverts tawny or tawny-buff, with greyish-white rectangular spots edged... read more


    Song of male is a prolonged churr given from ground, of 23 notes/second, given at dusk and dawn,... read more


    Typically, sparsely vegetated semi-desert with grass and scrub, in sandy, gravelly, stony or rocky... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on moths, grasshoppers (up to 5 cm long), mantises, bugs and beetles; stomachs of dead birds found in Niger contained almost... read more


    Poorly documented. Breeds Apr–May in N Senegal and Mali, Mar–Apr in Sudan; no data from other regions. No nest, eggs laid on... read more


    Generally sedentary, although in W of range race simplicior may disperse after breeding... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Uncommon, perhaps even rare, in N Senegal (rare in Djoudj National Park but more frequently recorded near Richard Toll), common in SW... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cleere, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Golden Nightjar (Caprimulgus eximius). 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 24 May 2019).