Square-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus fossii)

The Square-tailed Nightjar is one of the most fascinating nocturnal birds that belong to the Caprimulgidae family. This bird species is known for its unique and stunning appearance with a distinctive square tail, mottled plumage, and large eyes; it is largely found in the African continent, particularly in the savannah and semi-arid regions.

The Square-tailed Nightjar is well adapted to nocturnal activities, concealing itself during the day, often relying on its cryptic plumage and sitting close to the ground, where it can be easily mistaken for a fallen branch or debris. At night, it takes flight, prominently showcasing its skillful aerobatics as it feeds on flying insects, primarily termites, and moths.

The breeding season of this bird species varies depending on the region, but breeding usually occurs between October and January in southern Africa. During the breeding season, the male Square-tailed Nightjar produces a distinctive "churring" sound to attract a female mate, and together, they produce calls that can be heard throughout the night.

The diet of the Square-tailed Nightjar consists of insects, especially termites that it catches in mid-air, while it flies low along the ground searching for food. In addition, it has an affinity for moths and often feeds on them in the evenings.

Although still relatively abundant, the Square-tailed Nightjar populations have experienced a decline in some regions due to habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation. The conservation status of this species is listed as a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), but conservation efforts are needed to ensure the continued survival and health of this species.

In summary, the Square-tailed Nightjar is a fascinating and unique bird species, well adapted to nocturnal activities, displaying stunning aerobatics during flight, and helping to control insect populations in their habitat. Although various conservation efforts are in place, there's still more that needs to be done to preserve this remarkable bird species, ensuring they continue to thrive in their natural habitats.

Other names

Caprimulgus fossii



Square-tailed Nightjar

enganyapastors de Fosse



gabonski leganj

lelek gabonský

Afrotropisk Natravn



Engoulevent du Mozambique


Succiacapre codaquadra


mozambikinis lėlys


lelek klinosterny


Габонский козодой

lelek družný

Chotacabras de Fosse


Mozambik Çobanaldatanı

дрімлюга габонський



mozambiki lappantyú