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
Photo of author

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

We love to hear from our readers. If you have any questions or if you want to get in touch with us, you can find our contact details on our About Us page.

Leave a Comment