Family Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)

Least Concern

Yucatan Poorwill (Nyctiphrynus yucatanicus)


French: Engoulevent du Yucatan German: Yucatannachtschwalbe Spanish: Chotacabras yucateco

Caprimulgus yucatanicus

E. J. O. Hartert

, 1892,

Tizimín, Yucatán, Mexico


Sometimes placed with N. mcleodii in genus Otophanes; alternatively, has been assigned to its own genus, Nyctagreus. Monotypic.


Yucatán Peninsula of SE Mexico, N Guatemala and N Belize.

Descriptive notes

19·5–22 cm; 1 male 21 g. Sexes similar. Upperparts brown streaked blackish-brown, lightly spotted buffish-white on wing-coverts; narrow and indistinct buffish... read more


Song of male is a repetitive “weeo, weeo, weeo” given from perches. Other calls include... read more


Typically scrubland, deciduous forest and open woodland, usually in arid or semi-arid lowlands;... read more

Food and feeding

Probably feeds on insects. Forages by making short sallies from trees or ground.


Poorly documented. Breeds Apr–Jun in Guatemala; no data from other regions. No nest, eggs laid on leaf litter on ground. Eggs... read more


None documented. Possibly sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Endemic to Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, with range extending S into Belize and N Guatemala. During 1940’s and 1950’s considered fairly... read more

Recommended citation

Cleere, N. (2020). Yucatan Poorwill (Nyctiphrynus yucatanicus). 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 17 February 2020).