Puerto Rican Nightjar Antrostomus noctitherus

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Caprimulgidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Francisco J. Vilella

Sounds and Vocal Behavior


The song of the Puerto Rican Nightjar has been described as an emphatic, regularly repeated "whip, whip, whip" and has a broader frequency range (Reynard 1962) than the first note of the Whip-poor-will (Caprimulgus vociferus). The nightjar also exhibits chorusing behavior with respect to singing: one bird's vocalization elicits responses from nearby individuals (Reynard 1962, Kepler and Kepler 1973). Chorusing behavior may be incited by playback; these elicit responses from nightjars inside the forest provided the recordings are clear and at a volume resembling a singing nightjar or louder (Vilella 1989). Puerto Rican Nightjar males are capable of extended singing bouts at rates of 160 notes/minute and higher, with short (< 10 sec.) quiet intervals between bouts. Nightjar males will often switch perches before starting another singing bout (Vilella 1989). Male Puerto Rican Nightjars often will elicit loud emphatic clucking before starting to sing. Similar alarm clucks are elicited by incubating and brooding adults when flushed from the nest (Kepler and Kepler 1973, Vilella 1995).

Nonvocal Sounds

None recorded.

Recommended Citation

Vilella, F. J. (2010). Puerto Rican Nightjar (Antrostomus noctitherus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.purnig1.01