Rufous-cheeked Nightjar ( Caprimulgus rufigena, family: caprimulgidae)

Rufous Cheeked Nightjar Kruger National Park birds The Rufous-cheeked Nightjar (Latin name Caprimulgus rufigena) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 406 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 271 also a picture of the Rufous-cheeked Nightjar on page 209. The Rufous-cheeked Nightjar belongs to the family of birds classified as caprimulgidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Rufous-cheeked Nightjar is also known by these other names: Rufous-necked Nightjar, Rufous-eared Nightjar, Rufous-naped Nightjar, Angola Rufous-cheeked Nightjar.

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Rufous-cheeked Nightjar is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park.

In terms of distribution of the Rufous-cheeked Nightjar in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Rufous-cheeked Nightjar : see above distribution map.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

The Rufous-cheeked Nightjar is a bird about the same size as a starling. The height of the Rufous-cheeked Nightjar is about 24 cms and its weight is about 55 gms

You will find that the male Rufous-cheeked Nightjar plumage and colours are different to that of the female Rufous-cheeked Nightjar

  • Head is black.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is black, brown.
  • Back is black.
  • Legs are brown.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Rufous-cheeked Nightjar feeds on the ground, and on the wing mainly


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Rufous-cheeked Nightjar is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Caprimulgus rufigena will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Rufous-cheeked Nightjar is to create the nest on the ground. The bird lays eggs which are pink in colour and number between 1 to 2

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Rufous-cheeked Nightjar are: woodlands and grasslands

You will not see Rufous-cheeked Nightjar in flocks. The bird prefers to act singly or in pairs.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Rooiwangnaguil

German ... Rostwangen-Nachtschwalbe

Portuguese ... Noitib-de-faces-ruivas

French ... Engoulevent joues rousses

Dutch ... Roodwangnachtzwaluw

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 406

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,