Family Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)

Least Concern

Slender-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus clarus)


French: Engoulevent de Reichenow German: Kurzschleppen-Nachtschwalbe Spanish: Chotacabras colifino

Caprimulgus clarus


, 1892,

Bukoba, Tanzania


Closely related to C. climacurus and C. fossii, and all three have frequently been placed in a separate genus, Scotornis. Formerly considered conspecific with C. fossii. N populations occasionally awarded separate race, apatelius. Monotypic.


Djibouti and extreme NW Somalia, Ethiopia and SE South Sudan S to NW & SC Tanzania.

Descriptive notes

28 cm; male 36–49 g, female 34–53 g. Sexually dimorphic. Slight colour variation with dark brown, blackish or buffish individuals noted. Upperparts and wing-... read more


Song of male is a long series of rapid “wa, wa, wa, wa, wa” notes, perhaps forming a... read more


Mainly thorny bush country, acacia scrub, sparsely wooded grassland, thinly vegetated scrubland,... read more

Food and feeding

Diet includes moths, flies, beetles, ants, bugs and Orthoptera. Foraging methods poorly studied. Forages by hawking for prey low over open... read more


Poorly documented. Generally breeds Feb–May throughout range, N populations possibly beginning earlier, e.g. Feb–Mar in... read more


Poorly known. Possibly sedentary throughout much of range, although in Somalia may be locally... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common to locally abundant throughout range. Common to abundant in Ethiopia, especially in S; locally abundant in S Somalia; widely distributed and... read more

Recommended citation

Cleere, N. (2020). Slender-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus clarus). 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 22 February 2020).