Band-winged Nightjar is widespread in distribution, found throughout western South America from Venezuela south to southern Patagonia, as well as in eastern Brazil. In the southern part of its range, this is the only regularly occuring nightjar. Band-winged Nightjar is resident in most of its range, but the southernmost populations are migratory. As with most nocturnal birds, the species is most easily detected at night by its vocalization, which is most of its range is a loud, slurred, two-part whistle. The populations of the coast of Peru and Chile, however, have a very different song, which strongly suggests that these birds represent a different species. Band-winged Nightjar roosts on the ground during the day; when flushed, the nightjar makes a short, erratic flight, and then usually lands on the ground again, typically disappearing due to its cryptic, mottled gray and brown plumage. A long, square tail extending beyond the wings, and a rufous hindcollar on the neck are helpful field marks for this species.