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Common Pauraque - BirdForum Opus

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Photo © by arthurgrosset
Location: Linhares, Espirito Santo, Brazil
Male above; female below

Alternative name: Pauraque

Nyctidromus albicollis


22–28cm long. Male white band near wing tips, white outer tail feathers. Female - narrower wing band. Long tail, rounded wings. Buff eyering and facial stripe.

The male (top photo) has a broad white band across the outermost primaries which is especially evident when flying. It also has white along the sides of the tail. These are lacking in the female (bottom photo).

At rest, separated from most other species by the combination of the double row of buff-edged black spots over the scapulars, the relatively uniform rufous cheeks, and the relatively long tail that extends far out beyond the wing-tips.


From south Texas and Mexico through Central America and South America to northern Argentina.


It is the only bird in the genus Nyctidromus. Seven subspecies are recognized: albicollis, insularis, yucatanensis, merrilli, intercedens, gilvus, and derbyanus.


Woodland habitats, preferably forest, but also scrub and cultivation.




2 pinkish eggs are laid on bare ground or leaf litter.


Diet includes insects caught in flight or foraging.


Male may sing solitary, or as member of groups of two or three

Recorded by njlarsen
Arenal Volcano, Fortuna, Costa Rica, December 2010


  1. Clements, James F. 2007. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2007. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. ISBN 9780801445019
  2. Restall et al. 2006. Birds of Northern South America. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300124156
  3. L. Sandoval and I. Escalante 2011. Song description and individual variation in males of the Common Pauraque (Nyctidromus albicollis). Ornithologia Neotropical 22:173-185

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