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Mexican Whip-poor-will - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 09:40, 28 September 2012 by Wintibird (talk | contribs) (genus change)
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Antrostomus arizonae


22-27cm. Upperparts are grey, black and brown, lower parts are grey and black, very short bill and a black throat. Males have a white patch below the throat and white tips on the outer tail feathers; in the female, these parts are light brown.


Found in southern California (locally), southern Arizona, southern New Mexico, western Texas, and south through Mexico; absent south of southern South Carolina and along the Gulf Coast. Winters from Mexico south to Cuba and Panama. Accidental vagrant throughout most of the western United States.


Five subspecies are recognized:

  • A.a. arizonae
  • A.a. setosus
  • A.a. oaxacae
  • A.a. chiapensis
  • A.a. vermiculatus

Until recently this species was considered conspecific with Eastern Whip-poor-will.

It was formerly placed in the genus Caprimulgus.


Deciduous or mixed woodlands.


Nocturnal; they forage at night, catching insects in flight, and normally sleep during the day. The diet includes moths and beetles.

They nest on the ground, in shaded locations among dead leaves; 2 cream with darker spots or blotches, eggs are laid. The eggs are laid so they hatch about 10 days before a full moon, allowing the parents to forage the entire night, and so best provide the nestlings with insects.


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Birdforum thread discussing taxonomy of Nightjars and Frogmouths.
  3. 51st supplement to the AOU checklist of North American birds

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