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Species Guide

Tawny-collared Nightjar

Antrostomus salvini

The Tawny-collared Nightjar, known scientifically as Antrostomus salvini, is a nocturnal bird with a length ranging from 23 to 25.5 cm. Males are characterized by their blackish-brown upperparts adorned with blackish spots on the crown and fine light brown speckles, along with broad blackish streaks on the back and rump. A distinctive broad tawny or buff collar graces the nape and sides of the neck, inspiring the bird's common name. The tail feathers are dark brown, with the three outermost pairs featuring wide white tips. Wings are a blend of brown to blackish brown, marked with tawny spots and bars. The face is a dark reddish hue with brown barring, while the underparts display a mix of blackish brown with cinnamon speckles and white spots.

Identification Tips

To identify the Tawny-collared Nightjar, look for the broad tawny collar on the nape and the white tips on the tail feathers. The male's narrow white band below the blackish-brown throat and the female's buffy band are also key distinguishing features. The female's tail feather tips are marked with a narrow buff band, and the tawny markings on her wings are paler compared to the male.


This species thrives in arid to semihumid environments, including brushy woodlands, thorn forests, and dense scrublands. It tends to avoid humid and heavily forested areas.


Endemic to Mexico, the Tawny-collared Nightjar is found from Nuevo León and Tamaulipas down to Veracruz. While mostly resident, some individuals may migrate further south during the nonbreeding season.


The Tawny-collared Nightjar is a nocturnal hunter, capturing flying insects by sallying from perches or possibly from the ground.

Song & Calls

The song of this nightjar is an abrupt, clipped "chi-wihw" or "tchi-wheeu," rapidly repeated. It is typically delivered from a concealed perch within a bush or tree, primarily at dawn and dusk, and most frequently from March through July.


Breeding season for the Tawny-collared Nightjar extends from April to August. The clutch usually consists of two eggs, which are likely laid directly on the ground without the construction of a nest, as is common among nightjars.

Conservation Status

The IUCN has classified the Tawny-collared Nightjar as Least Concern. The population is estimated to include at least 50,000 mature individuals, though it is on a declining trend. Currently, no immediate threats to the species have been identified.

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Tawny-collared Nightjars on Birda

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Profile picture for Leonardo Guzmán
Leonardo Guzmán
16 Mar 2023 - 6:46pm

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