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Chuck-will's-widow - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Dave+2x
Florida, March 2011
Antrostomus carolinensis

Caprimulgus carolinensis



  • Brown, black and grey plumage
  • Large head
  • Brown throat
  • Small bill
  • Long rounded tail


Southeastern Nebraska east to Maryland; absent from the Appalachians. Rare breeder north to New York City. Winters southeastern United States to Greater Antilles and northern South America.

Casual to accidental vagrant north of range but with records in most eastern states and provinces; also accidental to California and Nevada.


This is a monotypic species1.

It was formerly placed in the genus Caprimulgus


Mixed forests, swamps, rocky uplands, and pine woods.




The white-grey dark marked eggs are laid directly on to the ground.


The diet includes flying insects such as beetles and moths.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2012. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2012. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. Birdforum thread discussing Caprimulgus vs Antrostomus
  3. All About Birds

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