Family Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)

Least Concern

Long-trained Nightjar (Macropsalis forcipata)


French: Engoulevent à traîne German: Hakenschwanz-Nachtschwalbe Spanish: Chotacabras coludo

Caprimulgus forcipatus


, 1840,



Specific name has commonly been given as creagra, but forcipata has priority by ten years; contrary to some claims, forcipata has been used regularly in literature during the past 50 years, by Brazilian ornithologists#R#R, and should therefore stand. Monotypic.


SE Brazil from SE Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo S to São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul; also NE Argentina (Misiones) and recently recorded in S Paraguay#R.

Descriptive notes

28–31 cm (excluding outer tail feathers of male, which reach 48–68 cm in length). Sexually dimorphic. Upperparts brown, spotted and barred greyish-brown, tawny,... read more


Call, given by both sexes, is a repetitive, high-pitched “tsip, tsip, tsip, tsip”.


Occurs mainly in forest and woodland, in second-growth forest, and at forest edge; in more N parts... read more

Food and feeding

Diet poorly studied, but probably feeds on insects. Foraging methods poorly documented. Forages by flying close to trees and taking insects... read more


Breeds possibly Nov–Jan in S Brazil; probable courtship recorded in late Sept, in NE Argentina; no data from other regions. Nest-site... read more


None documented. Possibly sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Previouslyconsidered Near Threatened. Endemic to rainforests of SE Brazil and NE Argentina. Possibly rare to locally common in... read more

Recommended citation

Cleere, N. & de Juana, E. (2020). Long-trained Nightjar (Macropsalis forcipata). 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 24 February 2020).