Lesser Nighthawk Chordeiles acutipennis

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


Are territorial and their nests are separated by no less than 25 m. The female performs the incubation and both parents perform security work in the nest by sudden movements to ward off potential predators.

They breed between April and August in the United States, between May and August in Mexico, and from April to July in Central America, in South America between January and July. This Nighthawk does not build nests but uses any depression in sandy or gravelly soils where it lays its eggs. The clutch size is 1 to 2 eggs, oval-elliptic or elliptic, creamy white or gray with reddish-brown speckles. The chicks are precocious, and at 21 days old can fly short distances.

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