Endemic to eastern Mexico, Tawny-collared Nightjar is a common to fairly common resident of dense, scrubby woodland and thorn forest in arid to semihumid regions. It also can be found in slightly more humid forests in the southern portions of its range. This nightjar has a distinct cinnamon hindcollar; otherwise the upperparts are cryptically mottled with brown, black and gray. The scapulars appear paler, comprising black feathers with conspicuous whitish fringing. The primaries are barred rufous and black, and the underparts are blackish with mottled white. Its dark crown and black throat contrast with a pale forecollar, and the three outer rectrices have broad white tips (buffy in females). Tawny-collared Nightjar formerly was considered conspecific with Yucatan Nightjar (Antrostomus badius), which has more extensive white in the tail corners and a paler crown and scapulars.