Family Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)

Least Concern

Nacunda Nighthawk (Chordeiles nacunda)


French: Engoulevent nacunda German: Weißbauch-Nachtschwalbe Spanish: Añapero ñacundá

Caprimulgus nacunda


, 1817,



Previously placed in a monotypic genus, Podager, but genetic data indicate that this species is embedded in Chordeiles and is sister to C. pusillus#R. Subspecies coryi previously known by name minor, but latter name invalid, as preoccupied#R. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. n. coryi Agne & Pacheco, 2011 – N & C Colombia E through Venezuela, Trinidad, the Guianas and N Brazil.
  • C. n. nacunda (Vieillot, 1817) – E Peru E through Brazil (S of R Amazon) and S to C Argentina and Uruguay.
  • Descriptive notes

    27·5–32 cm; male 142–188 g, female 124–173 g. Sexually dimorphic. Upperparts and wing-coverts brown speckled greyish white and greyish brown, heavily... read more


    Song of male is a soft, repetitive, purring “prrrrr-doo”, usually given from ground,... read more


    Savanna, grassland and marshland, also edges of rainforest and gallery forest, river edges, urban... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet includes froghoppers (Tomapsis), beetles, bugs (especially Nezara), locusts, winged ants, dragonflies and... read more


    Poorly documented. Breeds Apr in Trinidad, Jan to perhaps Jun in Colombia, mid Sept to Nov in Brazil, Nov in Uruguay and Bolivia, Oct... read more


    Migration patterns poorly understood. Nominate race possibly sedentary in parts of range, migratory... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). In Trinidad, locally fairly common visitor, mainly Jun–Oct, though occasional breeding suspected some years; rare in Tobago... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cleere, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Nacunda Nighthawk (Chordeiles nacunda). 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 20 February 2020).