Yucatan Poorwill Nyctiphrynus yucatanicus

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

Sounds and Vocal Behavior


The song of Yucatan Poorwill is described as "a loud, slightly resonant whirr' or whirrrr", given at a rate of 10 songs per 12/16 s, rarely at rates of 10 songs per 25 seconds (Howell and Webb 1995) or as "a repetitive weeo weeo weeo", very similar to the song of Eared Poorwill (Nyctiphrynus mcleodii) (Cleere 1998). The song is given at night, and from a perched position in a tree (Cleere 1998), and primarily is heard from February through October (Howell and Webb 1995).

For a representative audio recording with sonogram, see audio

Other vocalizations include "a slightly liquid, at times accelerating puk-puk ... and a sharp week week week' in flight (alarm call?)" (Howell and Webb 1995).

Paynter (1955) described the song of Yucatan Poorwill as "Ree-o-Ree, rising in intensity on the terminal vowel in the first and last syllables, and dropping abruptly on the middle syllable". This description in fact refers to the song of Yucatan Nightjar (Caprimulgus badius), a mistake that misled even experienced field workers (e.g. Davis 1962) and was copied by subsequent authors until Pierson (1986) correctly attributed the songs of these two species.

Nonvocal Sounds

None reported.

Recommended Citation

Arizmendi, M. d. C., C. I. Rodríguez-Flores, C. A. Soberanes-González, R. A. Behrstock, and T. S. Schulenberg (2013). Yucatan Poorwill (Nyctiphrynus yucatanicus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.yucpoo1.01