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Scissor-tailed Nightjar - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Stanley Jones
Salta Province, Argentina, October, 2019
Hydropsalis torquata


25–30 cm (9¾-12 in)

  • Rufous collar round hindneck

Male: very long whitish outer tail feathers (can be longer than its body)
Female: longish tail


South America: found in The Guianas, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina.

Photo © by Carlos Henrique
Artur Nogueira, SP, Brazil, March 2010



Two subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • H. t. torquata:
  • H. t. furcifer:

Some authorities have used Hydropsalis brasiliana for this species.


Forest and forest edges, and open parks.



Their main diet consists of beetles, moths, flies, mayflies, bugs, ants, grasshoppers and crickets. Mostly foraged in flight.


  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 taxonomy of Nightjars and Frogmouths
  3. Birdforum thread discussing which genus this species belongs in
  4. Arthur Grosset
  5. Cleere, N. (2020). Scissor-tailed Nightjar (Hydropsalis torquata). 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/55245 on 7 March 2020)

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1