Blackish Nightjar Nyctipolus nigrescens

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Caprimulgidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Kate Bemis


  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Blackish Nightjar
eBird range map for Blackish Nightjar

Generated from eBird observations (Year-Round, 1900-present)

Distribution in the Americas

Blackish Nightjar is resident across much of northern South America east of the Andes, from eastern Colombia across much of Amazonian Brazil, north to southern Venezuela and the Guianas, and south to Bolivia.

Blackish Nightjar occurs in the lowlands; its elevational distribution extends up to 1100 m in Venezuela (Hilty 2003); up to 800 m in Colombia (Hilty and Brown 1986); to 1200 m in Ecuador, where rarely reported below 300 m (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a); up to 1350 m in Peru (Schulenberg et al. 2010); and to 900 m in Bolivia (Hennessey et al. 2003).

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to the Americas.


Blackish Nightjar is distinctive among Neotropical nightjars in preferring open rocky outcroppings within lowland evergreen forest (Ingels 1981, 2001, Cleere and Ingels 2002). Often found in open sandy to gravelly areas along small (25-50 m wide) rivers (Cleere and Ingels 2004, Solano-Ugalde et al. 2012). These nightjars roost on large granite rocks in the middle of slow moving rivers that pass through dense primary forest (Cleere and Ingels 2004). Other reported roost sites include fallen trees, large rocks surrounded by rainforest instead of rivers, and in shallow leaf litter. Blackish Nightjars prefer to roost in the un on rocks with temperatures of 40-50 °C (Jackson and Ingels 2010). Blackish Nightjars also were found to favor second growth iver old growth forest in Brazil (Sekercioglu 2010).

Historical changes

None reported.

Fossil history

None reported.

Recommended Citation

Bemis, K. (2015). Blackish Nightjar (Nyctipolus nigrescens), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.