Pygmy Nightjar Nyctipolus hirundinaceus

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


The following summary of the reproductive biology of Pygmy Nightjar is based on Ingels et al. (2014) and Mazar Barnett et al. (2014). Nests are reported from November-May, usually during the rainy season (Mazar Barnett et al. 2014). Pygmy Nightjar has no nest; the egg is placed directly on the ground, on sandy to stony substrates. The clutch is a single egg; the egg is pale buffy cream, with irregular reddish spots and dark blotches. During the day, only the female incubates or broods the nestling; the male attends the nest at night. Both sexes perform a distraction display, although this display usually differs by sex: the male displays "by walking short distances with fanned tail and spread wings raised slightly in V-shape", whereas the female flattened her body against the ground and flapped her wings while crawling away, resembling a broken wing display (Mazar Barnett et al. 2014). On one occasion, a male also was observed giving this broken wing display (Mazar Barnett et al. 2014).

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.