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Species Guide

Great Eared Nightjar

Lyncornis macrotis

The great eared nightjar, Lyncornis macrotis, stands as the largest member of its family in terms of length, stretching from 31 to 41 cm. This nocturnal avian boasts long barred wings and a tail, complemented by distinctive long ear-tufts that often lie recumbent. A notable white throat band adorns its plumage, yet it lacks any white markings on its wings or tail.

Identification Tips

When endeavoring to identify this species, look for the prominent ear-tufts and the absence of white in the wings and tail. The white throat band is a key feature, along with the barred pattern on the wings and tail.


The great eared nightjar is a denizen of subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, where it thrives in the dense cover provided by the foliage.


This species graces the skies of South and Southeast Asia, with populations found in the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.


As dusk falls, the great eared nightjar emerges, becoming active in the twilight and through the night. Its call is distinctive, beginning with a sharp "tsiik," followed by a pause and then a two-syllable "ba-haaww," echoing through the forest.


Breeding for this species involves a simple scrape on the ground, where a single egg is laid. The chick, once hatched, is remarkably camouflaged amongst the leaf litter, a natural defense against predators.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List categorizes the great eared nightjar as Least Concern, indicating a stable population across its wide range.

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Great Eared Nightjars on Birda


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