Owlet-nightjars - Bird Genus Aegotheles


The nocturnal Owlet-nightjars are related to the nightjars and frogmouths that have the appearance of small owls with big eyes.


Distribution / Range

Most of its members are native to New Guinea, but some species extend to Australia, the Maluku Islands (Moluccas) in Indonesia, and New Caledonia.


Diet / Feeding

Owlet-nightjars mostly feed on insects hunted in the air or on the ground. Their soft plumage is a mix of browns and paler shades. Their tiny bills are surrounded by whiskers and open extraordinarily wide. Their wings are short and the tail is long and rounded.


Living Subspecies

  • Genus Aegotheles
    • New Caledonian Owlet-nightjar, Aegotheles savesi
    • Feline Owlet-nightjar, Aegotheles insignis
    • Starry Owlet-nightjar or Spangled Owlet-nightjar, Aegotheles tatei
    • Long-whiskered Owlet-nightjar or Moluccan Owlet-nightjar, Aegotheles crinifrons
    • Australian Owlet-nightjar, Aegotheles cristatus
      • Aegotheles cristatus tasmanicus[Aegotheles cristatus leucogaster] - usually considered invalid
      • [Aegotheles cristatus major] - usually considered invalid
      Barred Owlet-nightjar, Aegotheles bennettii
      • Upland Barred Owlet-nightjar, Aegotheles (bennettii) affinis
    • Wallace's Owlet-nightjar, Aegotheles wallacii
    • Archbold's Owlet-nightjar, Aegotheles archboldi
    • Mountain Owlet-nightjar, Aegotheles albertisi
      • Salvadori's Owlet-nightjar, Aegotheles (albertisi) salvadorii

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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