Jerdon's nightjar (Caprimulgus atripennis) is a medium-sized nightjar species native to southern India and Sri Lanka. Formerly considered as a subspecies of the long-tailed nightjar, it is best recognized by its distinctive call which sounds like a wooden plank being beaten periodically with each note ending in a quaver. The common name commemorates Thomas C. Jerdon who described the species.
Like other nightjars, it has a wide gape, long wings, soft downy plumage and nocturnal habits. At 26 cm in overall length, it is almost a head's length larger than the Indian nightjar (C. asiaticus), and differs from that species in its barred tail, rufous rear neck, and wing bars. The vermiculations on the crown are fine giving it a nearly uniform shade. The collar is blackish. The male has a white patch on each wing. Otherwise, their cryptic plumage is mainly variegated buff and brown, as typical for the dark tropical woodland nightjars. This has an unbroken white gorget like the long-tailed nightjar but the tail is shorter. The Sri Lankan aequabilis is slightly smaller and darker.
Its typical call is a fast repetitive ch-woo-woo. Another call is said to be a frog-like croak.