Australian Owlet-nightjar (species: Aegotheles (Aegotheles) cristatus) in Yungaburra, QLD (Gaia Guide)
Aegotheles (Aegotheles) cristatus
Australian Owlet-nightjar

©Citizen Science: Australian Owlet-nightjar

©Michael Sale: Australian Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles (Aegotheles) cristatus)

©Tom Tarrant: Australian Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles (Aegotheles) cristatus)
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Caprimulgiformes
Family Aegothelidae
Genus Aegotheles
Species Aegotheles (Aegotheles) cristatus
Status least concern



Distinguishing features

with grey upperparts and a white, barred front and a distinct dark and pale patterning on the head. In the north of Australia females can also have a rufous morph. The plumage is overall paler in desert populations. It is adapted to live in open woodland, with more pointed wings and larger feet, unlike most of the rest of the family that live in dense forest. (Wikipedia)


  • Up to 24 cm (Length of specimen)


  • Wingspan data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

It is found in open woodland across Australia and in southern New Guinea. (Wikipedia)


nocturnal (active at night)


It feeds at night by diving from perches and snatching insects from the air, ground or off trunks and branches. It may also feed on the wing. It feeds on most insects, particularly beetles, grasshoppers and ants.  (Wikipedia)

Web resources


  • Simpson, K., N. Day and P. Trusler (2004). Field Guide to Birds of Australia: 7th Edition Penguin Group (Australia), Camberwell, Victoria.