Birda Logo

Grey Nightjar

Caprimulgus jotaka

The Grey Nightjar, known scientifically as Caprimulgus jotaka, is a nocturnal bird with a penchant for early successional habitats. This species, with its cryptic plumage, is a master of camouflage, blending seamlessly into its surroundings.

Identification Tips

To identify the Grey Nightjar, look for its muted grey tones, which provide excellent camouflage against the forest floor. Its body is streamlined and adapted for a life spent predominantly on the wing during the twilight hours.


The Grey Nightjar favors habitats that are in the early stages of succession, areas that are regenerating and surrounded by forests. These environments provide the necessary cover and foraging grounds for this elusive bird.


This bird is found across East Asia, where it is a familiar presence in the appropriate habitats. It is a species that has adapted to a range of environments within this broad geographic area.


The Grey Nightjar is a nocturnal creature, coming alive as the sun sets. Its behavior is closely tied to the dim light of dusk and dawn, during which it hunts and engages in other daily activities.

Song & Calls

The vocalizations of the Grey Nightjar are best heard during the twilight hours, a haunting soundtrack to the transition between day and night.


Breeding behaviors of the Grey Nightjar, like those of many nocturnal birds, are less observed, but they are known to breed within their preferred habitats, taking advantage of the seclusion offered by early successional forests.

Similar Species

The Grey Nightjar is sometimes considered a subspecies of the Jungle Nightjar, its South Asian relative, due to similarities in appearance and behavior. However, subtle distinctions can be made upon closer inspection.

Diet and Feeding

As a nocturnal hunter, the Grey Nightjar forages during the twilight hours, taking advantage of the cover of dusk to catch its prey.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List has classified the Grey Nightjar as Least Concern, indicating that, at present, there are no immediate threats to its populations that would warrant a higher level of concern. However, it should be noted that its populations have experienced declines since the 1970s in Japan, which warrants monitoring.

App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Grey Nightjars on Birda


More Nightjars

A photo of a Chuck-will's-widow (Antrostomus carolinensis)


Antrostomus carolinensis
Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Alice J
Awesome Birding Community
I absolutely love the community aspect of this app. The app is so user friendly and has fun interactive challenges to get you out birding. I’ve tried others but since I’ve started using Birda I’ve not gone back!
Fantastic App
This is a really lovely app, for everyone interested in birds - from newbies to old hands. There is a very friendly feel to the community and you will genuinely learn a lot as you record your sightings and photos. There are lots of badges and competitions to keep you engaged, and a host of really useful features.
Such a great app!
I didn’t think I could enjoy birding more but this app makes it so much better. Some great features and a really great way to share your sightings with your friends or fellow birders nearby or around the world! ❤️
Stewart W
Fantastic to be involved
Fantastic to be involved, great for mental health and gets you responding with the Challenges that are to takd part in.
Mike T
Sense of Community
A great app, which is continually being improved. What really comes through is the passion of those behind the app. The sense of community is brilliant, so much help and support provided to new and/or in experienced birders.
A Friendly Place
I love using the bird app, I have a pretty good knowledge of birds. But I do have some gaps in it, so it’s nice to have a safe space to check on a sighting to confirm the species. It’s really enjoyable and I love the badges you can collect. It’s like a real life Pokémon go.
Safira V
Birding and wellbeing app
Birda is an excellent platform to share your love of Birding and is a great tool of encouragement for a Birding Beginner like me. Birda has a very kind and supportive community of Birding enthusiasts. For me BIRDA is not only a BIRDING but also a WELLBEING App.
David C
Very knowledgeable group
Nice friendly birding community. Very knowledgeable group with a willingness to help.
Bryan C
Clean and easy to use
Really enjoying this app, it's clean and easy to use. I love the ease of being able to add those one-off birds without starting a whole checklist. I also like the social aspect, like the parts of my Facebook I like, without the ads and junk, just birds. Can't wait to see it become more populated.
The best bird logging app
Birda is honestly the best bird logging app I have seen. I love all the features it has from being able to do a session and log all the birds you see in one sitting, to being able to connect with other birders from all over the globe!
As featured in
Connect with nature,
Find your flock
Download Birda - QR Code
© 2024 All rights reserved