Family Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)

Least Concern

Sand-colored Nighthawk (Chordeiles rupestris)


French: Engoulevent sable German: Flussnachtschwalbe Spanish: Añapero blanco

Caprimulgus rupestris


, 1825,

rocky islands in the Rio Negro, Brazil


Subspecies xyostictus sometimes considered untenable#R#R. Two subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. r. xyostictus Oberholser, 1914 – C Colombia (Cundinamarca).
  • C. r. rupestris (Spix, 1825) – NE Ecuador, NE Peru, SE Colombia (from Meta and Guainía) and S Venezuela E through N & C Brazil and S to C Bolivia.
  • Descriptive notes

    19–24 cm. Sexes similar. Upperparts pale greyish-brown, mottled and streaked brown and cinnamon, no nuchal collar; wing-coverts pale greyish-brown, cinnamon and whitish... read more


    Call is a trilled “rrrr-wo-wo-wo”, given in flight or from perches; other calls include... read more


    Mainly rivers and marshes in forest and secondary growth, on rocky islands, sandy beaches and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on insects, including moths and termites. Forages in flight, hunting low over sandbars and beaches or higher up above rivers. Also... read more


    Breeds during dry season in low-water periods, Jan and Jul to possibly late Sept in Colombia, May–Aug in Peru and Jun–Sept in... read more


    Poorly known. Possibly some local movements in parts of range.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. In Colombia, locally fairly common to common in suitable habitat, especially along Amazon, Orinoco and Negro rivers; very few published data from... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cleere, N. & Bonan, A. (2020). Sand-colored Nighthawk (Chordeiles rupestris). 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).