Family Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)

Least Concern

Eared Poorwill (Nyctiphrynus mcleodii)


French: Engoulevent aztèque German: Ohrennachtschwalbe Spanish: Chotacabras prío

Otophanes mcleodii


, 1888,

Chihuahua, Mexico


Sometimes placed in genus Otophanes, usually along with N. yucatanicus. Race rayi regarded as untenable by some authors#R#R. Two subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • N. m. mcleodii (Brewster, 1888) – NW Mexico (W Chihuahua and S Sonora S to Jalisco and Colima).
  • N. m. rayi A. H. Miller, 1948 – SW Mexico (Guerrero and Oaxaca).
  • Descriptive notes

    20–21 cm; male 30·8–37 g, female 24–35·3 g. Sexes similar. Upperparts greyish, wing-coverts spotted white, scapulars boldly spotted blackish,... read more


    Song of male is a loud, abrupt “peeyo” or “peejo” that ends emphatically... read more


    Mainly open woodland of pine and/or oak, usually in semi-arid, mountainous terrain; also woodland... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on insects, especially beetles and moths. Forages by making short flycatching sallies from trees (most commonly at mid to upper... read more


    Poorly documented. Possibly breeds Apr–Jun. Nest-sites recorded in short grass at cliff base and in clumps of pines (Pinus... read more


    Mainly sedentary, although occasionally may undertake local movements as race rayi... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Previously considered Near Threatened. A little-known species endemic to W Mexico, where locally rare to fairly common in suitable habitat. Widely... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cleere, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Eared Poorwill (Nyctiphrynus mcleodii). 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 30 March 2020).