Nacunda Nighthawk Chordeiles nacunda

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Caprimulgidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Elsie Shogren



Primarily crepuscular. Roosts during the day on the ground on rocky outcrops in grassland, on open ground such as grassy fields, or on sandbars, often in sites that are fully exposed to the sun (Belton 1984, Cleere 1998, Hilty 2003). Frequently roosts close to pieces of wood or of dried cow dung (Cleere 1998). On landing, after having been flushed, birds stand upright with neck, and make "nervous, jerky movements", and often call (Cleere 1998).  Drinks in flight from streams. Forages in high flight over open habitats, also on insects flushed by grassland fires. Flight is "leisurely, buoyant, reminiscent of a giant moth (or Short-eared Owl [Asio flammeus], as bird holds wings bent down and flies without freg. [frequent] swerving of smaller nighthawks [Chordeiles]" (Hilty 2003).


No information available.

Sexual Behavior

No information. Presumably is monogamous.

Social and interspecific behavior

Usually solitary or in small groups, both when roosting and when foraging. Also can in large concentrations, of up to 300-500 individuals (Friedmann and Smith 1950, Hilty 2003).


No information available.

Recommended Citation

Shogren, E. (2011). Nacunda Nighthawk (Chordeiles nacunda), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.