The Jerdon's Nightjar, Caprimulgus atripennis, is a medium-sized nightjar which is a resident breeder in southern India and Sri Lanka.
Open woodland, scrub, and cultivation is the habitat of this nocturnal bird. It flies after sundown with an easy, silent moth-like flight. During the day, Jerdon's Nightjar lies silent upon the ground, concealed by its plumage; it is then difficult to detect, blending in with the soil.
No nest is made; the two beautifully marbled eggs are placed upon the bare ground; the brooding bird, sitting closely, is their best protection.
Unlike Indian Nightjar, this species rarely rests on roads during the night, preferring to alight on bushes. This makes it harder to spot, since it is not so readily seen in vehicle headlights.
Jerdon's Nightjar has variegated buff and brown plumage. At 28cm length, it is obviously larger than Indian Nightjar, and differs from that species in its barred tail, rufous rear neck, and wing bars. The male has a white patch on each wing. Like other nightjars, it has a wide gape, long wings, soft downy plumage and nocturnal habits.
Its call is a fast repetitive ch-woo-woo. Nocturnal insects, such as moths, are its food.
This species was earlier considered synonymous with the Large-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus macrourus which occurs in northern India.