Standard-winged Nightjar
05 35 082 Macrodipteryx longipennis flying m
Range Africa from Senegal east to Ethiopia.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Caprimulgiformes
Family Caprimulgidae
Genus Caprimulgus
Species Caprimulgus longipennis
Conservation Status
Least Concern

The Standard-winged nightjar (Caprimulgus longipennis), is a nightjar in the Caprimulgidae family.


The adult male has a bizarre and unusual wing ornament during the breeding season which consists of a broad central flight feather on each wing elongated to 38 cm, much longer than the bird's body. 20 cm or more of this is bare shaft. In normal flight, these feathers trail behind, but in display flight they are raised vertically like standards. Outside the breeding season, there are no plumage distinctions between the male and female.

When roosting on the ground during the day, this medium-sized (20–23 cm long) nightjar is mainly variegated grey, with a browner collar. It is a shadowy form with easy, silent moth-like flight; this nightjar is relatively short-tailed, and lacks white in the wings or tail. The song is a churring trill.

Distribution and Habitat

It is a resident breeder in Africa from Senegal east to Ethiopia. It is found in dry savannah habitats, with some scrub.


Like other nightjars, the standard-winged nightjar feeds on insects in flight, the huge gape opening wide for moths and beetles. It flies at dusk, most often at sundown, and can sometimes be seen with flying foxes.

No nest is made; the two elongated and elliptical eggs are placed upon the bare ground.

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