Spot-tailed Nightjar Hydropsalis maculicaudus

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Caprimulgidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Marîa del Coro Arizmendi, Claudia I. Rodríguez-Flores, Carlos A. Soberanes-González, and Thomas S. Schulenberg

Spot-tailed Nightjar is a local, enigmatic nightjar of open country. Its call, a two part tik-tseweet, is high, thin, insect like, and easily overlooked. Still, listening for this call is generally the best way to locate this species. It may also be flushed during the day from thick grass in its preferred habitats: grassland, savanna, pastures, second growth, and agricultural land. Like other Caprimulgus nightjars, it feeds on flying insects by sallying short distance from a perch on the ground, and nests directly on the ground. Spot-tailed Nightjar is resident locally in northern and central South America, and occurs as a breeding visitor in parts of southeastern Mexico and Central America.


© Michael Harvey

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Arizmendi, M. d. C., C. I. Rodríguez-Flores, C. A. Soberanes-González, and T. S. Schulenberg (2013). Spot-tailed Nightjar (Hydropsalis maculicaudus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.