Palau Nightjar

Caprimulgus phalaena




Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Cream or white-blue.

Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:

16 - 17

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

Nest is built in a scrape on open, sandy ground, occasionally of rooftops.

Nest Material:

No nesting materials are used.





Gray Nightjar: Small, gray-brown nightjar with black mottling and streaks on back, brown-black barring below, and gray-white moustache and throat. Long wings with gray-white on shoulder, rufous spots in flight feathers and white patch at base of primaries. Small, black bill with wide gape. Long, gray-brown tail with black barring, gray-white tip. Very short black-gray feet and legs. Feeds on moths and a wide variety of nocturnal insects. Forages by sallying out from a low perch to catch prey.

Breeding and Nesting

Gray Nightjar: Two cream or white-blue eggs with black-brown blotches are laid on a bare scrape on the ground. No materials are used for the nest because the color and pattern of the eggs, and plumage of the female blend in with their surroundings. Female incubates the eggs for 16 to 17 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Gray Nightjar: Feeds at night on moths and a wide variety of nocturnal insects. Watches for prey from a low branch or other perch near the ground. When a food item is seen, it flies out to catch prey in the air with its wide mouth. Often uses the same perch when foraging.


Palau Nightjar: Call is a screeched "kreek-kreek". Song sounds like a hammer knocking on wood that rise in pitch and speed, "tauk tok tac-tac-tac".

Similar Species

Unlikely to be confused with any other species in this range.

Flight feathersX
Located on the wing, and collectively called remiges (singular, remex). The long stiff feathers are subdivided into two major groups based on the location and are called primaries and secondaries.
Also called commissure, it is the hinge where the mandibles meet.
The primaries are the flight feathers specialized for flight. They are attached to the "hand" equivalent part of the wing.
The short feathers overlying the median secondary coverts on the top of the wing. They are located near the back and can be seen as the “first row” of feathers on the birds wing. They are also called marginal coverts and lesser secondary coverts.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X