Spot tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus maculicaudus)

Spot-tailed Nightjar

[order] Caprimulgiformes | [family] Caprimulgidae | [latin] Caprimulgus maculicaudus | [UK] Spot-tailed Nightjar | [FR] Engoulevent a queue etoilee | [DE] Fleckenschwanz-Nachtschwalbe | [ES] Chotacabras Colipinto | [IT] Succiacapre codamacchiata | [NL] Vlekstaartnachtzwaluw


Monotypic species

Physical charateristics

Small dark Nightjar with black crown and rufous collar on hind-neck. Back finely barred with buff and black. No white in wings, primaries dark brown barred with rufous. Tail like back with black bars and white outer bar. Underparts mostly pale buff and dull black. win eathers have a large buff spot.

Listen to the sound of Spot-tailed Nightjar

[audio: Nightjar.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 19 cm size max.: 21 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 2  


Patchily distributed troughout South America excluding South. In Central America also patchily distributed.


Open grassland and savanna with scattered vegetation. Also scrubland, forest edges and along open man made structures like airstrips.


Nest site in rough grass, vegetated gravel, sandy grounds and bare stony ground with vegetation nearby. No nest is made, 1-2 egs are laid on ground and incubated by female during the day. If adult is flushed from nest it displays injury-feigning distraction.

Feeding habits

Mainly insects like beetles, grasshoppers and moths. Forages by short sallies from a perched position.


This species has a large range, with an estimated global extent of occurrence of 3,300,000 km2. The global population size has not been quantified, but it is believed to be large as the species is described as ‘frequent’ in at least parts of its range (Stotz et al. 1996). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Spot-tailed Nightjar status Least Concern


Sedentary throughout range, though some migration is reported.

Distribution map

Spot-tailed Nightjar range map


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