Family Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)


White-winged Nightjar (Eleothreptus candicans)


French: Engoulevent à ailes blanches German: Weißflügel-Nachtschwalbe Spanish: Chotacabras aliblanco

Stenopsis candicans


, 1867,

Irisanga, São Paulo, Brazil


Previously considered closely related to, or even conspecific with, Hydropsalis cayennensis (both taxa were at the time placed in Caprimulgus). Later review, however, suggested that the two were not close and that present species probably belonged with Eleothreptus#R; a treatment strongly supported by subsequent phylogenetic study#R. Monotypic.


N Bolivia (Beni Biological Station, in Beni)#R, SC Brazil (Emas National Park, in SW Goiás)#R, and E Paraguay (Mbaracayú Forest Nature Reserve, in Canindeyú; Laguna Blanca, in San Pedro)#R#R. Historical records from Mato Grosso and São Paulo, in S Brazil.

Descriptive notes

19–23 cm; male 46–51 g. Sexually dimorphic. Upperparts and inner wing-coverts pale greyish brown, speckled, barred and streaked brown; boldly spotted blackish on... read more


Territorial calls of male are soft, undulating whistles, “tshere-she-shew” given during... read more


Typically open grasslands with scattered trees (e.g. Tabebuia caraiba and ... read more

Food and feeding

Known to feed on beetles and moths. Forages low (1–2 m above ground) over hillsides, hilltops and cerrado, ­including... read more


Until recently, almost unknown; first nest found in 1997. In a study in E Paraguay during 1998–2001 male display recorded... read more


Largely unknown, although may be migratory in parts of range.

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Population currently estimated at 600–1700 mature individuals within an overall range of 3100 km2. Until fairly recently, considered Critically Endangered... read more

Recommended citation

Cleere, N., Kirwan, G.M. & de Juana, E. (2019). White-winged Nightjar (Eleothreptus candicans). 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 13 November 2019).