[order] APODIFORMES | [family] aegothelidae | [latin] aegotheles savesi | [UK] New Caledonian Owlet-nightjar | [FR] aegothele caledonien | [DE] Schwarzrucken-Schwalm | [ES] Egotelo de Nueva Caledonia | [NL] Nieuwcaledonische Dwergnachtzw
Large, dark owlet-nightjar. Plumage rather uniformly vermiculated grey-brown and black. Structurally distinct with short rounded wings, long, slightly rounded tail and relatively long, stout legs. Similar spp. Only confusable with White-throated Nightjar Eurostopodus mystacalis which has paler plumage on New Caledonia and typical nightjar shape and habits. Voice Unknown. Other congeners have various churring and whistling calls.
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Australasia : New Caledonia. Aegotheles savesi is endemic to New Caledonia (to France). It is known from a specimen collected in 1880 at Pata, near Noumea, a second specimen dated 1915 recently discovered in an Italian museum, a possible record from the island of Mare one found dead (but not retained) in the Tchamba valley in the 1950s, one shot close to Paita in 1960 and a sighting in 1998 in the Riviere Ni valley.
The records are from Melaleuca savanna and humid forest.
They nest and roost in holes in trees
The 1998 sighting was of a single bird foraging for insects briefly at dusk. They are largely sit-and-wait predators of small animals, foraging from perches or from the ground.
Known only from two specimens, one sighting in the 1990s and only three other reports, this very poorly known species is classified as Critically Endangered on the basis of a tiny known population which is presumed to be undergoing a continuing decline.