Lesser Nighthawk Chordeiles acutipennis

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Caprimulgidae
  • Polytypic: 7 subspecies
  • Authors needed...



Usually forages lonely and hunting actively to get their food, and maneuvering in the air in pursuit of insects. Sometimes catch insects from the perch.

Flight is fluid, soft wing beats interspersed with faster fluttering and erratic. It has a very low flying, very close to the ground, however, during migration often high overhead in lax flocks.

Social and interspecific behavior

The nightjars are generally solitary and have no social behavior. Their habits are primarily crepuscular, although occasionally seen during the day flying over open areas. They have very weak legs and usually perch directly on the ground or along a branch, or at most, walk a short distance across the floor. Migration takes place in loose but large groups.

Recommended Citation

Lesser Nighthawk (Chordeiles acutipennis), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/lesnig