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Caprimulgidae

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Caprimulgidae

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Nightjars
Common Nighthawk, Chordeiles minor, and Whip-poor-will, Caprimulgus vociferus
 
Common Nighthawk, Chordeiles minor, and Whip-poor-will, Caprimulgus vociferus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
 
Phylum: Chordata
 
Class: Aves
 
Order: Caprimulgiformes
 
Family: Caprimulgidae
Vigors, 1825
Genera
Nyctiprogne
Podager
Lurocalis
Chordeiles
Nyctidromus
Phalaenoptilus
Siphonorhis
Nyctiphrynus
Caprimulgus
Macrodipteryx
Hydropsalis
Uropsalis
Macropsalis
Eleothreptus
Eurostopodus
European Nightjar
European Nightjar

Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds with long wings, short legs and very short bills that usually nest on the ground. Nightjars are sometimes referred to as goatsuckers from the mistaken belief that they suck milk from goats (the Latin for goatsucker is Caprimulgus). Some North American species are named as nighthawks.

Nightjars are found around the world. They are mostly active in the late evening and early morning or at night, and feed predominantly on moths and other large flying insects.

Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is cryptically coloured to resemble bark or leaves. Some species, unusually for birds, perch along a branch, rather than across it. This helps to conceal them during the day.

The Common Poorwill, Phalaenoptilus nuttallii is unique as a bird that undergoes a form of hibernation, becoming torpid and with a much reduced body temperature for weeks or months.

Nightjars lay one or two patterned eggs directly onto bare ground.

Traditionally, nightjars have been divided into two subfamilies: the Caprimulginae, or typical nightjars with about 70 species, and the Chordeilinae, or nighthawks of the New World with about 8 species. The two groups are similar in most respects, but the typical nightjars have rictal bristles, longer bills, and softer plumage. In their pioneering DNA-DNA hybridisation work, Sibley and Ahlquist found that the genetic difference between the eared nightjars and the typical nightjars was, in fact, greater than that between the typical nightjars and the nighthawks of the New World. Accordingly, they placed the eared nightjars in a separate family: Eurostopodidae.

Subsequent work, both morphological and genetic, has provided support for the separation of the typical and the eared nightjars, and some authorities have adopted this Sibley-Ahlquist recommendation, and also the more far-reaching one to group all the owls (traditionally Strigiformes) together in the Caprimulgiformes. The listing below retains a more orthodox arrangement, but recognises the eared nightjars as a separate group. For more detail and an alternative classification scheme, see Caprimulgiformes and Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy.

Species

  • Subfamily Chordeilinae (New World nighthawks)
    • Band-tailed Nighthawk, Nyctiprogne leucopyga
      Nacunda Nighthawk, Podager nacunda
      Rufous-bellied Nighthawk, Lurocalis rufiventris
      Short-tailed Nighthawk, Lurocalis semitorquatus
      Antillean Nighthawk, Chordeiles gundlachii
      Lesser Nighthawk, Chordeiles acutipennis
      Common Nighthawk, Chordeiles minor
      Least Nighthawk, Chordeiles pusillus
      Sand-colored Nighthawk, Chordeiles rupestris
  • Subfamily Caprimulginae (typical nightjars)
    • Egyptian Nightjar, Caprimulgus aegyptius
      Savanna Nightjar, Caprimulgus affinis
      Scrub Nightjar, Caprimulgus anthonyi
      Indian Nightjar, Caprimulgus asiaticus
      Jerdon's Nightjar Caprimulgus atripennis
      Yucatan Nightjar, Caprimulgus badius
      Bates's Nightjar, Caprimulgus batesi
      Brown Nightjar, Caprimulgus binotatus
      White-winged Nightjar, Caprimulgus candicans
      Chuck-will's-widow Caprimulgus carolinensis
      White-tailed Nightjar, Caprimulgus cayennensis
      Sulawesi Nightjar, Caprimulgus celebensis
      Vaurie's Nightjar, Caprimulgus centralasicus
      Slender-tailed Nightjar, Caprimulgus clarus
      Long-tailed Nightjar, Caprimulgus climacurus
      Bonaparte's Nightjar, Caprimulgus concretus
      Greater Antillean Nightjar, Caprimulgus cubanensis
      Donaldson-Smith's Nightjar, Caprimulgus donaldsoni
      Collared Nightjar, Caprimulgus enarratus
      European Nightjar, Caprimulgus europaeus
      Golden Nightjar, Caprimulgus eximius
      Square-tailed Nightjar, Caprimulgus fossii
      Sombre Nightjar, Caprimulgus fraenatus
      Pygmy Nightjar, Caprimulgus hirundinaceus
      Grey Nightjar, Caprimulgus indicus
      Plain Nightjar, Caprimulgus inornatus
      Band-winged Nightjar, Caprimulgus longirostris
      Large-tailed Nightjar, Caprimulgus macrurus
      Spot-tailed Nightjar, Caprimulgus maculicaudus
      Cayenne Nightjar, Caprimulgus maculosus
      Madagascar Nightjar, Caprimulgus madagascariensis
      Sykes's Nightjar, Caprimulgus mahrattensis
      Philippine Nightjar, Caprimulgus manillensis
      Swamp Nightjar, Caprimulgus natalensis
      Blackish Nightjar, Caprimulgus nigrescens
      Black-shouldered Nightjar, Caprimulgus nigriscapularis
      Puerto Rican Nightjar, Caprimulgus noctitherus
      Nubian Nightjar, Caprimulgus nubicus
      Little Nightjar, Caprimulgus parvulus
      Fiery-necked Nightjar, Caprimulgus pectoralis
      Montane Nightjar, Caprimulgus poliocephalus
      Itombwe Nightjar, Caprimulgus prigoginei
      Salvadori's Nightjar, Caprimulgus pulchellus
      Buff-collared Nightjar, Caprimulgus ridgwayi
      Red-necked Nightjar, Caprimulgus ruficollis
      Rufous-cheeked Nightjar, Caprimulgus rufigena
      Rufous Nightjar, Caprimulgus rufus
      Ruwenzori Nightjar, Caprimulgus ruwenzorii
      Tawny-collared Nightjar, Caprimulgus salvini
      Dusky Nightjar, Caprimulgus saturatus
      Silky-tailed Nightjar, Caprimulgus sericocaudatus
      Star-spotted Nightjar, Caprimulgus stellatus
      Freckled Nightjar, Caprimulgus tristigma
      Whip-poor-will, Caprimulgus vociferus
      Roraiman Nightjar, Caprimulgus whitelyi
      Scissor-tailed Nightjar, Hydropsalis brasiliana
      Ladder-tailed Nightjar, Hydropsalis climacocerca
      Standard-winged Nightjar, Macrodipteryx longipennis
      Pennant-winged Nightjar, Macrodipteryx vexillarius
      Long-trained Nightjar, Macropsalis creagra
      Pauraque, Nyctidromus albicollis
      Eared Poorwill, Nyctiphrynus mcleodii
      Ocellated Poorwill, Nyctiphrynus ocellatus
      Yucatan Poorwill, Nyctiphrynus yucatanicus
      Common Poorwill, Phalaenoptilus nuttallii
      Jamaican Pauraque, Siphonorhis americana (extinct; rumors of survival)
      Least Pauraque, Siphonorhis brewsteri
      Cuban Parauque, Siphonorhis daiquiri (extinct; rumors of survival)
      Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Uropsalis lyra
      Swallow-tailed Nightjar, Uropsalis segmentata
      Sickle-winged Nightjar, Eleothreptus anomalus
  • Subfamily Eurostopodidae (eared nightjars)
    • Mountain Eared Nightjar, Eurostopodus archboldi
      Spotted Eared Nightjar, Eurostopodus argus
      Satanic Eared Nightjar, Eurostopodus diabolicus
      Great Eared Nightjar, Eurostopodus macrotis
      White-throated Eared Nightjar, Eurostopodus mystacalis
      Papuan Eared Nightjar, Eurostopodus papuensis
      Malaysian Eared Nightjar, Eurostopodus temminckii

External links


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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.


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