Family Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)

Least Concern

Blackish Nightjar (Nyctipolus nigrescens)


French: Engoulevent noirâtre German: Trauernachtschwalbe Spanish: Chotacabras negruzco

Caprimulgus nigrescens


, 1848,

lower Essequibo River, Guyana


Formerly thought to be closely related to, and even conspecific with, Setopagis whitelyi (both then placed in genus Caprimulgus), but the two differ significantly in voice#R and, moreover, recent genetic study found them not to be part of same lineage#R. Bolivian birds sometimes separated as race australis, but differences from others in range appear trivial. Monotypic.


E Colombia and E Ecuador E through S Venezuela, the Guianas and Amazonian Brazil, S to E Peru and N Bolivia.

Descriptive notes

19·5–21·5 cm; male 32–42 g, female 32–50 g. Sexually dimorphic. Upperparts blackish, heavily mottled tawny, cinnamon, buff and greyish-white,... read more


Song of male is a soft, purring “pru,r,r,r,t” or “qu,r,r,r,t”, given from... read more


Mainly sparsely vegetated, open stony country with granite outcrops, and rocky places in and along... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds on moths, beetles and other insects. Forages over rocky outcrops and above tree canopy.


Breeds possibly May–Aug in Guyana, Feb–Mar and Aug–Nov in Surinam (coinciding with dry season, though eggs found in all... read more


None recorded. Sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Abundant in suitable habitat throughout Amazon basin. Very common in some regions of Colombia such as Guainía and Vaupé... read more

Recommended citation

Cleere, N. & de Juana, E. (2020). Blackish Nightjar (Nyctipolus nigrescens). 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 on 3 April 2020).