Family Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)

Least Concern

Mees's Nightjar (Caprimulgus meesi)


French: Engoulevent de Mees German: Meesnachtschwalbe Spanish: Chotacabras de Mees

Caprimulgus meesi

Sangster and Rozendaal

, 2004,

Nisar, 250 m, Flores, Lesser Sundas


Previously included within Wallacean and Australasian group (race schlegelii) of the “C. macrurus complex”; however, analysis of sound recordings revealed significant vocal differences from all other populations in this complex, leading to its formal description; appears to be morphologically identical to C. macrurus. Further study of this complex required, especially of all taxa in Lesser Sundas. Monotypic.


Flores and Sumba, in WC Lesser Sundas; recorded also in Alor and Pantar#R and presumably occurs on the intervening islands.

Descriptive notes

25–29 cm. Adult male has top of head and upperparts mostly pale grey with fine blackish-brown vermiculations, palest and tinged with rufous-buff on sides of crown,... read more


Song, given from prominent perch (as normal territorial songs), is loud and repetitive, a high-... read more


Open to dense scrubland with scattered small trees, or forest edges; sea-level to 800 m on Flores;... read more

Food and feeding

Stomach contents of one individual comprised tiny insects and a “cricket” (Orthoptera).


Territorial songs given in Jun–Nov. No other information.


Probably sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Sumba EBA and Northern Nusa Tenggara EBA. Probably not rare; reported as being common in some places. On Flores... read more

Recommended citation

Fjeldså, J. (2020). Mees's Nightjar (Caprimulgus meesi). 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 February 2020).