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Nacunda Nighthawk - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by jocateme
Eldorado, Mato Grasso do Sul, Brazil
Chordeiles nacunda

Podager nacunda


Photo © by Rick and Elis
Ubatuba, Brazil, January 2012

27·5–32 cm (11-13 in)

  • White throat patch
  • White belly and flanks (seen in flight)
  • Distinctive white bands on the wings

Male has white tips on its outer tail feathers


The Nacunda Nighthawk is found in South America east of the Andes in two groups: Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas and extreme north of Brazil; and south of the Amazon to central Argentina.


This species was recently transferred from the genus Podager to Chordeiles. In consequence a new name was needed for one of the subspecies, P. n. minor has now become Chordeiles nacunda coryi.


Photo © by Fritz73
Uruguai PP, Misiones, Argentina

Two subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • C. n. coryi:
  • C. n. nacunda:


Habitats include forest edges, river edges, savanna and marshes, often where these are surrounded by drier, open country.


Photo © by Michael Hooper
Ceibas, Argentina, 20 January 2020

In flight sometimes glides on wings raised in a dihedral, and often foraging in groups. Spends the day on the ground on for example sand banks, sometimes in quite large groups.


Mainly nocturnal, sometimes crepuscular. Their main diet consists of froghoppers, beetles, bugs, locusts, winged ants and dragonflies etc.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Birdforum thread discussing the proposal to place this species in genus Chordeiles
  3. Cleere, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Nacunda Nighthawk (Chordeiles nacunda). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/55169 on 16 February 2020

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.