Least Nighthawk Chordeiles pusillus

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Caprimulgidae
  • Polytypic: 6 subspecies
  • Authors: Dominique Hellmich



Least Nighthawk is crepuscular, foraging at dawn and dusk, although it does not begin foraging in the evening until the skies are "nearly dark" (Hilty 2003). Foraging flights are "fairly low" over the ground, and the flight is described as "buoyant, quick, and erratic with many sudden shifts in direction" (Hilty 2003).

Least Nighthawks usually roost during the day on the ground under shrubs in savanna, but sometimes roost on tree branches (Hilty 2003).


There are no published data on territorial defense, maintenance, or fidelity, or of home range size, for Least Nighthawk.

Sexual Behavior

Little information; presumably is at least socially monogamous.

Social and interspecific behavior

Least Nighthawk forages solitarily, in scattered pairs, or in small, loosely associated groups (Hilty 2003).


No reports of predation on Least Nighthawk?

Recommended Citation

Hellmich, D. (2014). Least Nighthawk (Chordeiles pusillus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.leanig1.01