Family Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)

Least Concern

Silky-tailed Nightjar (Antrostomus sericocaudatus)


French: Engoulevent à queue de soie German: Seidennachtschwalbe Spanish: Chotacabras coladeseda

Antrostomus serico-caudatis

[sic] Cassin

, 1849,

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Closely related to A. salvini and A. badius, all three sometimes being considered conspecific. A. rufus saltuarius initially thought to belong in present species, but may be either a separate species or merely a colour morph of A. rufus rutilus. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. s. mengeli (Dickerman, 1975) – E Peru, NW Bolivia and scattered records through NC Brazil.
  • A. s. sericocaudatus Cassin, 1849 – SE Brazil, E Paraguay and extreme NE Argentina.
  • Descriptive notes

    24–30 cm; male 62–83 g, female 53–66 g. Sexually dimorphic. Upper­parts dark greyish-brown, broadly streaked and spotted blackish-brown; very broad but... read more


    Song of male is an undulating “doh, wheo, eeo” given from low perches, mainly at dusk... read more


    Mainly forest, in clearings, especially where there are thickets, bamboo understorey or second-... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on beetles, crickets, grasshoppers and ants. Foraging methods not ­described.


    At Manu National Park, Peru (A. s. mengeli) 15 nests with eggs found in Sept–Oct. Eggs laid on bare ground or on leaf-... read more


    None documented. Sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally uncommon and little known. Widely but sparsely distributed in Peru; widespread and possibly rare to fairly common in E... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cleere, N. (2020). Silky-tailed Nightjar (Antrostomus sericocaudatus). 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 25 February 2020).