Sand-colored Nighthawk Chordeiles rupestris

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Caprimulgidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Nichole Whyland

Sounds and Vocal Behavior


Sand-colored Nighthawk is sometimes is considered to be a relatively quiet bird (e.g. Hilty and Brown 1986, Ridgely and Greenfield 2001b). The song, which is given from the ground, is described as "a gurgling purr, similar to Lesser Nighthawk [Chordeiles acutipennis], interspersed with quiet throat-clearing sound and loud grawh notes" (Lane, in Schulenberg et al. 2010).

Other vocalizations of Sand-colored Nighthawk include "a grating trill interspersed with a gaw-gaw-gaw", which is given in chase flights (Lane, in Schulenberg et al. 2010); a series of loud grawh notes (Lane, in Schulenberg et al. 2010); and quiet pup notes (Lane, in Schulenberg et al. 2010). Also give a grunting sound when defending the nest (O'Neill 1974).

Additional audio recordings of vocalizations of Sand-colored Nighthawk can be heard at Macualay Library and at xeno-canto.

Nonvocal Sounds

None reported.

Recommended Citation

Whyland, N. (2015). Sand-colored Nighthawk (Chordeiles rupestris), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.