Notice for readers: On March 31, Neotropical Birds will be integrated into the new Birds of the World, a powerful research database offering species accounts for every species on earth. Learn more at While Birds of the World is a subscription service, we remain committed to offering this content to Neotropical Birds contributors and to those unable to pay for it through our scholarship program. Stay tuned.

Blackish Nightjar Nyctipolus nigrescens

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

Blackish Nightjar is a relatively small dark nightjar, well named for its predominantly blackish plumage; this coloration provides good camouflage against this nightjar's preferred microhabitat of granite rock outcroppings in forest clearings and along trails. This preference means that the species is regularly encountered by ornithologists and birdwatchers, because the species is comparatively easier to find day roosting than many other nightjars in the Neotropics. Blackish Nightjar plumage also lacks any collared effect. This species occurs from eastern Colombia across much of Amazonian Brazil, north to southern Venezuela and the Guianas, and south to Bolivia, and from sea level to approximately 1200 m. Due to its undoubted abundance, the breeding biology of Blackish Nightjar is better known than many other Neotropical nightjars.


© Curtis Marantz

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

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.