Rufous-cheeked Nightjar | Caprimulgus rufigena

Robert's Birding Information: Rufous Cheeked Nightjar

The Rufous-cheeked Nightjar is a Southern African bird that belongs to the caprimulgidae bird family group which includes birds such as Nightjars.

The description for the Rufous-cheeked Nightjar (Latin name Caprimulgus rufigena) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Caprimulgus rufigena can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 406 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 271. You will find a picture of the Rufous-cheeked Nightjar on page 209.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Rufous-cheeked Nightjar between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Rufous-cheeked Nightjar is known in Afrikaans as Rooiwangnaguil.

The Rufous-cheeked Nightjar has a height of 24 cms and weighs around 55 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured black. The Caprimulgus rufigena has a black, brown coloured throat, brown legs and a black coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Caprimulgus rufigena has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is black.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is black.

Legs are brown.

Throat is black, brown.

Back is black.

Rufouscheeked Nightjar Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

The Caprimulgus rufigena attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

Rufouscheeked Nightjar Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Rufous-cheeked Nightjar is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 to 2 eggs and they are coloured pink.

The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.

The Rufous-cheeked Nightjar is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Rufous-cheeked Nightjar is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks.