Four subspecies usually are recognized:
Burhinus bistriatus bistriatus: Described by Wagler in 1829 as Charadrius bistriatus, with a type locality of Mexico. Occurs from southern Mexico south to northwestern Costa Rica. See Detailed Description.
Burhinus bistriatus dominicensis: Described by Cory in 1883 as Oedicnemus dominicensis; type locality La Vega, D0minican Republic. Occurs on Hispaniola.
Differs from other subspecies by the smaller size; more slender bill and tarsi; and creamier or buffier color on the posterior underparts (Hellmayr and Conover 1948).
Burhinus bistriatus pediacus: Described as Burhinus bistriatus pediacus by Wetmore and Borrero in 1964, with a type locality of Maicao, Guajira, Colombia. Occurs in northern Colombia.
Similar to vocifer in size, but the plumage is paler throughout. "Light borders of dorsal feathers distinctly paler, ranging from pale cinnamon buff to pale buff; dark areas of crown more brownish black; feathers of foreneck and upper breast with paler borders; under tail coverts paler, more cinnamon buff" (Blake 1977).
Burhinus bistriatus vocifer: Described as Aedicnemus vocifer by L'Herminier in 1837, with a type locality of Maturin, Venezuela. Occurs in Venezuela, Guyana and extreme nothern Brazil.
Smaller than nominate bistriatus, with a more slender bill and a shorter tarsi. Also has a darker breast with more pronounced streaking. (Hellmayr and Conover 1948). Similar in size to pediacus, but darker in color (Blake 1977).