Distribution: Australia and southern New Guinea
Habitat: Various habitats with trees and suitable hollows
Description: Female Owlet-nightjars are reddish-brown or grey. Males are grey. Both have faint black bars and two distinct black marks above their eyes.
Diet: Owlet-nightjars are insectivores and eat a variety of insects, either during flight or on the ground.
In the wild: They are harder to find with a torch or spotlight than most of Australia’s other nocturnal birds because their large brown eyes do not reflect the light. They are also very small. In fact, the Owlet-nightjar is Australia’s smallest nocturnal bird.
Threats: Habitat destruction is a threat to Owlet-nightjars as fewer trees mean fewer places for them to raise their young.
At Perth Zoo: Owlet-nightjars can be found in the Nocturnal House.
Join the Perth Zoo-coordinated Night Stalk from 1 September to 16 October and spotlight for native animals in your local bushland. Night Stalk is a great way to become involved in community conservation action and to learn about our native animals, their habitat and their threats. Night Stalk is sponsored by Tronox.
Did you know? The Owlet-nightjar is a sedentary bird. It keeps to the same patch of woodland for most of its life.