Nightjar – Caprimulgus europaeus

This nocturnal bird can be seen hawking for food at dusk and dawn. Most numerous in southern England, with good numbers found in the New Forest, Dorset, Surrey heathlands and the Thetford forest in Suffolk. Also found in parts of Wales, northern England, and south-west Scotland.


Male: Medium sized bird with long wings and a tail that’s heavily mottled and barred in browns, buff and greys, creating excellent camouflage. The male has white patches on the wing and tail.
Female: As the male, but without the white wing and tail patches.
Size: 25—28cm.
Bill: Black, short and thin.
Legs: Buff, short.
Habitat: Heaths, forests and woodlands.
Behaviour: Takes off/lands on vegetation or ground.
Flocking: Solitary.
Flight: Glides and flits.
Voice: Distinctive churring.


Nest: Bare hollows.
Eggs: 2. White with light brown spotting.
Incubation period: 8 days.
Fledgeling: 16—18 days.
Broods: 2. May—July.
Food: Insects.
UK breeding pairs: 3,000.

Suggested feed

Countrywide Robin and Songbird Mix (right), Countrywide Niger Seed.

Back to top