Rufous Nightjar (Antrostomus rufus)

The Rufous Nightjar, also known as Rufous Chequered Nightjar, is a bird species belonging to the family Caprimulgidae. The bird is widely distributed in sub-Saharan Africa, occurring in a range of habitats, including savannah, open scrubland, and forest edges.

The Rufous Nightjar has a distinctive appearance, which makes it easy to identify. The bird has an overall rufous-brown coloration with intricate black and white markings on its wings and back, which provide excellent camouflage. Adult birds measure between 22 and 28 cms in length, with a wingspan of about 54 cm.

This bird is nocturnal, and it spends most of the day roosting on the ground, blending in with the surrounding vegetation. They have a unique behavior of sitting at an angle with their head tilted upwards, which enhances their camouflage effectiveness. They usually become active at night, when they fly out to hunt insects; their diet consists mainly of moths, beetles, and other insects that fly close to the ground. They are equipped with huge eyes, short bills and gape which aid in catching preys.

During the breeding season, the Rufous Nightjar produces a distinctive song, which consists of a series of repeated, melodic whistles. Males perform a distinct courtship display at nightfall, which involves fluttering their wings, calling, and swaying their bodies. Females lay two eggs in a shallow depression on the ground, which they incubate for about three to four weeks. After hatching, the chicks are brooded by the female until they can forage on their own.

Sadly, the Rufous Nightjar's habitat is under threat due to various anthropogenic factors, including habitat destruction and fragmentation, deforestation, and agricultural expansion. These threats have led to a decline in the population of this bird species. Conservation efforts have been put in place, including creating protected areas, seeking to preserve habitat, and raising awareness about the bird's importance.

The Rufous Nightjar plays an essential role in controlling insect populations, and its unique appearance and behavior make it a fascinating bird species to study and appreciate.

Other names

Antrostomus rufus



Rufous Nightjar

enganyapastors rogenc



riđi leganj

lelek červenavý

Rødbrun Natravn

Rosse Nachtzwaluw


Engoulevent roux


Succiacapre rossiccio


rusvasis lėlys


lelkowiec rdzawy


Рыжий козодой

Riđi američki leganj

lelek hrdzavý

Chotacabras colorado

rödbrun nattskärra

Kızıl Çobanaldatan

дрімлюга рудий


rozsdás lappantyú