Antillean Nighthawk (Chordeiles gundlachii)

Antillean Nighthawk

Antillean Nighthawk

[order] CAPRIMULGIFORMES | [family] Caprimulgidae | [latin] Chordeiles gundlachii | [UK] Antillean Nighthawk | [FR] Engoulevent piramidig | [DE] Antillen-Nachtschwalbe | [ES] Anapero Querequete, Pucuyo Antillano (HN) | [NL] Antilliaanse Nachtzwaluw


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Nyctiprogne gundlachii
Chordeiles gundlachii NA s Florida through the West Indies
Chordeiles gundlachii gundlachii Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamiaca, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Is.
Chordeiles gundlachii vicinus s Florida (se USA), Bahama Is.

Physical charateristics

Once considered a subspecies of the very similar Common Nighthawk. Best distinguished by voice, a dry, four-syllabled pity-pit-pit or killy-kadick.

Listen to the sound of Antillean Nighthawk

[audio: Nighthawk.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 50 cm wingspan max.: 55 cm
size min.: 20 cm size max.: 22 cm
incubation min.: 20 days incubation max.: 21 days
fledging min.: 20 days fledging max.: 21 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 3  


North America : South Florida through the West Indies


Clearings and semi-open areas. In Florida, found mostly on lower Keys, concentrating around are
as with undeveloped open ground, such as airports, vacant lots. Has been found over fields on southern Florida mainland. In West Indies, inhabits semi-open terrain including open woods, fields, farmland.


Breeding behavior not well known, presumably much like that of Common Nighthawk. In courtship display, male flies high and then dives, making a rushing or “booming” noise, thinner and quieter than that of male Common Nighthawk.
Nest: Site is on ground, usually in very open spot, often with no shade or other protection. No nest built, eggs laid on open soil or gravel.
Eggs: 1 or 2. Whitish to pale olive-gray, blotched with darker olive; often more heavily and darkly marked than those of Common Nighthawk. Details of incubation not well known.
Young: Cared for by both parents, as in other nighthawks. Adults probably feed young by regurgitating insects. Development of young and age at first flight not well known.

Feeding habits

Insects. Diet not known in detail, presumably much like that of Common Nighthawk: flying insects such as moths, beetles, mosquitoes, many others.
Behavior: May forage most actively near dusk and dawn; also during day and at night. Forages mostly in flight, high or low, with erratic, bounding wingbeats, scooping up flying insects in its wide, gaping mouth.


This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Antillean Nighthawk status Least Concern


Southern Florida to West Indies. Winters in South America.
b Migration: Strictly a summer resident in Florida, present late April to September. Winter range not well known, probably northern South America. A rare spring and summer stray north of southernmost Florida.

Distribution map

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