Slender-tailed Nightjar

Caprimulgus clarus

Slender-tailed Nightjar, Caprimulgus clarus, photo © by Michael Plagens.

Without the help of guide Julius Ruto (juliusrutto @ this Nightjar would not have been seen at Lake Baringo National Park, Kenya. October 2010.

These insect-eating birds have extraordinary low-light vision allowing them to capture flying insects at dusk, dawn and and on moonlit nights. When hunting they perch on the ground in a clearing and sally after flying moths and other mostly soft-bodied insects. As they approach the bug their mouth opens very wide and the bug is thus caught mid-air. By day the birds sleep on the ground, typically in the shade of a bush. Incredible camouflage keeps them hidden but they are alert to approaching dangers none-the-less.

Caprimulgidae -- Nightjar Family


  • Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania by Zimmerman et al.
  • Birds of East Africa by Stevenson and Fanshawe

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 11 July 2012.