The freckled nightjar or freckled rock nightjar (Caprimulgus tristigma) is a species of nightjar in the family Caprimulgidae. It has a wide yet patchy distribution throughout the Afrotropics.
The freckled nightjar is a large, powerfully-build species of nightjar with long wings and relatively short tails. They lack any prominent markings and appear dark gray or nearly black from a distance. At closer range, white, cinnamon, and pale buff freckling is visible on the upperparts of adults. Their underparts are typically dark brown with a whitish and cinnamon barring pattern. Their plumage provides excellent camouflage for rocky surfaces.
They are sexually dimorphic. In flight, males have small white spots on the four outer primaries and their two outer tail feathers have white tips. Females have 3 to 4 smaller white spots on their outer primaries and do not have white on their outer tail feathers. In both sexes, when the wings are folded, the white spots are generally not visible.
This species sings in the early morning and evening, as well as on moonlit nights. The song can be variable but is typically in the form of a whistle consisting of two or three whow notes. It is typically repeated for 30 seconds or more at a time. From a distance, it may sound like a dog barking.
The flight or threat call consists of two or three wock sounds delivered at a low frequency. The alarm call is a yelping gobble sound. For distraction displays, soft grok-grok grumbles are delivered.