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Yucatan Nightjar

Antrostomus badius

The Yucatan nightjar, a member of the Caprimulgidae family, is a nocturnal bird with a length ranging from 24 to 25.5 cm. Males typically weigh around 65.5 g, while females are slightly lighter, between 51.2 to 64.3 g. This species exhibits a grayish-brown plumage with a distinctive broad tawny or buff collar on the nape and sides of the neck. The tail is brown with tawny bars and white tips on the outer feathers for males, while females have smaller, buff tips.

Identification Tips

To identify the Yucatan nightjar, look for its grayish-brown upperparts with blackish-brown spots and speckles. The bird's face is tawny with blackish-brown speckles, and it has a narrow white band below the dark brown, cinnamon-barred chin and throat. The breast is speckled with buff and cinnamon, and the belly and flanks are adorned with cinnamon speckles, brown bars, and white spots.


The Yucatan nightjar inhabits scrublands, brushy woodlands, and forest edges, where it can be found perching or hunting for insects.


This species is a year-round resident of the Yucatán Peninsula and Cozumel Island in Mexico. During non-breeding seasons, it visits Belize and northwestern Honduras, with occasional sightings in northern Guatemala.


The Yucatan nightjar is a nocturnal bird that hunts flying insects by sallying from perches or possibly from the ground.

Song & Calls

The song of the Yucatan nightjar is a loud, clear "puc ree-u-reeeu" or "pc weeu wee-weeeu," typically sung from a hidden perch within a bush or tree, mainly from February through August. It also produces a hard, hollow clucking sound, described as "k-lok k-lok" or "p-tok."


While the breeding season of the Yucatan nightjar has not been precisely defined, it is known to lay a clutch of two eggs directly on the ground, following the typical nightjar nesting behavior.

Conservation Status

The IUCN has classified the Yucatan nightjar as Least Concern, with an estimated population of at least 50,000 mature individuals. Although the population is on a declining trend, there are currently no immediate threats identified for this species.

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Yucatan Nightjars on Birda

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Ignacio Loera
21 Feb 2023 - 7:00pm

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