Short-tailed nighthawk

Short-tailed nighthawk
Lurocalis semitorquatus

(Photo from Bird Forum)

Common name:
short-tailed nighthawk (en); tuju (pt); engoulevent à queue courte (fr); añapero colicorto (es); bändernachtschwalbe (de)

Order Caprimulgiformes
Family Caprimulgidae

This species is found from Mexico down to Argentina.

These birds are 19-21 cm long and weigh 70-90 g.

The short-tailed nighthawk is found in tropical rainforests and swamp forests, from sea level up to an altitude of 1.700 m.

They mostly hunt at dusk or during the night, taking insects in flight such as beetles, moths and bugs.

Short-tailed nighthawks don’t build an actual nest, they simply lay their eggs on an horizontal branch, usually 6-18 m above the ground, or sometimes on the ground itself. The female lays 1-2 whitish of creamy eggs with brown and grey spots, which are incubated by both parents for 19-22 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 20-24 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 50.000-500.000 individuals. The population trend is believed to be stable, but a model of Amazonian deforestation predicts it may loose 17-20% of suitable habitat in the next 15 years, so a small decline may take place in the near future.

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