Family Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)

Least Concern

Great Eared-nightjar (Lyncornis macrotis)


French: Engoulevent oreillard German: Riesennachtschwalbe Spanish: Chotacabras orejudo

Caprimulgus macrotis


, 1831,

Manila, Luzon, Philippines


Previously placed in genus Eurostopodus. Internal taxonomy requires further study; race jacobsoni may be better placed in L. temminckii#R; W races bourdilloni and cerviniceps might represent a separate species, but this requires investigation. Five subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. m. bourdilloni A. O. Hume, 1875 – SW India.
  • L. m. cerviniceps Gould, 1838 – Bangladesh and NE India E to extreme S China (Yunnan) and S through SE Asia to N Malaysia.
  • L. m. jacobsoni Junge, 1936 – Simeulue I (off NW Sumatra).
  • L. m. macrotis (Vigors, 1831) – N & E Philippines (Luzon, Mindoro, Catanduanes, Marinduque, Samar, Leyte, Bohol, Dinagat, Siargao, Mindanao, Basilan).
  • L. m. macropterus Bonaparte, 1850 – Talaud Is, Sangihe, N & C Sulawesi, Banggai Is and Sula Is.
  • Descriptive notes

    31–40 cm; 125–151 g (macrotis). Sexes similar. Shows distinct ‘ears’; upperparts brown speckled and spotted buff, cinnamon and greyish white... read more


    Call is a whistled “put, wee-oo” or “put, weeow-oo”, usually given in... read more


    Mainly forest: primary forest (often by rivers), secondary forest, edges and clearings, second... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet is known to include moths, beetles, bugs and termites. Forages in flight, hunting over forest clearings, neighbouring grasslands and... read more


    Poorly known. Breeds Jan–May (mainly Feb–Mar) in S India and Jan–May in Malay Peninsula; in N Sulawesi, nest with egg in... read more


    Most populations appear to be sedentary, but race cerviniceps local migrant to parts of NE... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally not uncommon in SW India; resident and locally migratory in NE India but rare in Bangladesh; resident in W Yunnan (S China); common in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cleere, N. (2019). Great Eared-nightjar (Lyncornis macrotis). 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 13 December 2019).