Family Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)

Near Threatened

Salvadori's Nightjar (Caprimulgus pulchellus)


French: Engoulevent de Salvadori German: Salvadorinachtschwalbe Spanish: Chotacabras de Salvadori

Caprimulgus pulchellus


, 1879,

Mount Singalan, Sumatra


Races occasionally considered two separate species. Javan form bartelsi lacks pale nuchal collar of pulchellus, and has less distinct lateral crownstripes and somewhat different patterning on upperparts; taxonomic status requires further study, but online recordings suggest voices extremely similar. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. p. pulchellus Salvadori, 1879 – Salvadori's Nightjar – Sumatra.
  • C. p. bartelsi Finsch, 1902 – Bartels's Nightjar – Java.
  • Descriptive notes

    19–21·5 cm. Sexually dimorphic, though not greatly so. Upperparts and wing-coverts dark brown, spotted and barred tawny, cinnamon and buff; crown and nape paler... read more


    Song of male is possibly a short series of “tok” five notes, with an overall duration c... read more


    Typically montane and submontane forest, often on cliffs and cliff faces; also occasionally in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Poorly studied. Probably feeds on insects; forages over forest clearings or near cliffs. When hunting, flies slowly with flapping wingbeats... read more


    Poorly known. Breeds late Mar to May in Java; season in Sumatra undocumented. Nest-site recorded under tea bush; no nest, eggs laid on leaf... read more


    None documented. Sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Previously treated as Data Deficient, but now regarded as Near Threatened with an overall population estimate of 6000–15,000 mature individuals... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cleere, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2017). Salvadori's Nightjar (Caprimulgus pulchellus). 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 20 November 2017).