Band-tailed Nighthawk Nyctiprogne leucopyga

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Caprimulgidae
  • Polytypic: 5 subspecies
  • Authors: Hyun Seok Yoon

Sounds and Vocal Behavior


There are varying descriptions of the song of Band-tailed Nighthawk; there may be geographic variation in song, or perhaps not all of the vocalizations that have been interpreted as songs are homologous. Songs from central Brazil (presumed to represent nominate leucopyga and majuscula) are characterized by a three element structure, with an introductory note followed, after a pause, by the final two elements (Whitney et al. 2003). Descriptions of vocalizations from Ecuador ("a distinctive leisurely kwoit ... ku-woít-kowit repeated steadily"; Ridgely and Greenfield 2001b) and from Peru ("a mellow chew, CHEEwunk-WHEEoo"; Lane, in Schulenberg et al. 2010) may refer to the same type of song. An apparently very different vocalization is described as the song in Venezuela, "a low, nasal, froglike qurk-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta ... (2-10 ta notes, up to 1 phrase/sec" (Hilty 2003). Sick (1993) described "the voice" (not necessarily the song?) as "glok, glok, glok ... unhurried, sometimes bisyllabic".

Another vocalization is "a soft jerk or neerk", given at the conclusion of a short dive (aggressively?) made by one bird at another (Hilty 2003).

Audio recordings of vocalizations of Band-tailed Nighhawk can be heard at Macaulay Library, at xeno-canto, and at Internet Bird Collection.

Nonvocal Sounds

None reported.

Recommended Citation

Yoon, H. S. (2015). Band-tailed Nighthawk (Nyctiprogne leucopyga), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.