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Antillean Nighthawk

From Opus

MalePhoto by NIGHTJAR1New Providence, Bahamas
Photo by NIGHTJAR1
New Providence, Bahamas
Chordeiles gundlachii


[edit] Identification


  • Dark with brown, grey and white patterning on the upperparts and breast
  • Long black wings, (white wing bar shows in flight)
  • Tail: dark with white barring
  • Underparts are white with black bars
  • Adult male has a white throat; the female has a light brown throat

There are 2 color morphs, a gray and a rufous type.

[edit] Similar Species

The most distinguishing characteristic to determine its identity from its closest relative the Common Nighthawk are the contrasting pale tertials near the back of the wings of a sitting bird. See references below for a discussion of the differences between the two.

MalePhoto by NIGHTJAR1New providence, Bahamas, June 2005
Photo by NIGHTJAR1
New providence, Bahamas, June 2005

[edit] Distribution

Antillean Nighthawk is known from the Greater Antilles, the Bahamas and Southern Florida, especially the Keys and Tortuga. However, recently they have been demonstrated to breed in e.g., Guadeloupe of the Lesser Antilles. The Antillean Nighthawk migrates out of its breeding range after raising its young. It still remains unknown where the birds spend the winter (South America is assumed to be the place).

[edit] Taxonomy

The birds in Florida and the Bahamas are supposed to be a different subspecies (vicinus) from the rest of the region

The Antillean Nighthawk was until recently thought to be the same species as Common nighthawk.[2]

[edit] Subspecies[1]

  • C. g. vicinus:
  • C. g. gundlachii:

[edit] Habitat

Mainly belong in open country. Seashore with sparse vegetation and airfields. Wetlands

[edit] Behaviour


[edit] Diet

They hawk for flying insects

[edit] Breeding

They lay two eggs on the ground. Incubation (by the female) takes around 20 days and fledging another 20.

[edit] Vocalisation

Call: a short pik-adik usually heard overhead. (The Common Nighthawk makes a similar call, but it is not as consistent.)

[edit] References

  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Avibase
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Birdforum thread discussing the difference between Antillean and Common Nighthawk

[edit] External Links


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