Family Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)

Least Concern

Sulawesi Nightjar (Caprimulgus celebensis)


French: Engoulevent des Célèbes German: Sulawesinachtschwalbe Spanish: Chotacabras de Célebes

Caprimulgus celebensis


, 1894,



Closely related to C. atripennis, C. macrurus, C. andamanicus and C. manillensis, and all five were formerly considered conspecific; in recent years has commonly been lumped in C. manillensis, but differs in both voice and morphology. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. c. celebensis Ogilvie-Grant, 1894 – N & CE Sulawesi; also Butung I, off SE coast.
  • C. c. jungei Neumann, 1939 – Sula Is, where currently known from Taliabu and Mangole.
  • Descriptive notes

    24–30 cm. Sexes similar. Upperparts greyish-brown streaked blackish-brown, broadly so on central crown, with no nuchal collar; lesser coverts dark brown speckled tawny... read more


    Song of male is an accelerating “tok, tok, tok, tr, tr, tr, tr”, last notes softer and trailing off... read more


    Typically, secondary forest, coastal bush and edges of mangroves. On Taliabu, lowland forest,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Poorly documented. Probably feeds on insects. Forages by hawking after prey in buoyant and agile flight.


    Breeding habits not documented.


    None documented. Probably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Sulawesi EBA and Banggai and Sula Islands EBA. Locally rare to fairly common in parts of N & E Sulawesi, but... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cleere, N. (2019). Sulawesi Nightjar (Caprimulgus celebensis). 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 21 November 2019).