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Pygmy Nightjar Nyctipolus hirundinaceus

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Caprimulgidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors: Andrea Alfano



Pygmy Nightjar is crepuscular and nocturnal. It tends to rest on sand and stones in clearings, and sit on tracks and dirt roads at night (Cleere 1998). Observed foraging in open, disturbed areas (Olmos 1993, Cleere 1998); these nightjars forage by making sallies (0.5-10 m) to the air from the ground, and returning to the same site (Vasconselos and Figueiredo 1996, Mazar Barnett et al. 2014).


There are no published data on territorial defense, maintenance, or home range size for Pygmy Nightjar. Mazar Barnett et al. (2014) noted three nests within only 15-20 m of one another, with a fourth nest ca 350 m farther away.

Sexual Behavior

Little information. Pygmy Nightjar is at least socially monogamous.

Social and interspecific behavior

Nightjars are generally solitary except when paired for breeding and have no known social behavior.


No reports of predation on Pygmy Nightjar?

Recommended Citation

Alfano, A. (2014). Pygmy Nightjar (Nyctipolus hirundinaceus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.