Phalaenoptilus nuttallii
(Common Poorwill)

Order: Caprimulgiformes
Order Description: Nighthawks, Goatsuckers
Family: Caprimulgidae
Family Description: Goatsuckers and Nightjars

Physical Description:
7-8 1/2" (18-21 cm). Light brown body mottled with silvery gray and black; whitish collar separating black throat from narrowly barred underparts. Dark outer tail feathers are tipped with white; tail and wings are rounded.

Similar Species- Whip-poor-will, Buff-collared Nightjar

A melancholy call that sound like its name; the first note lower than the second. A third syllable is audible at close range, poor-will-ip. In flight it utters a low wurt, wurt.

Breeds from southern British Columbia, southeastern Montana, and portions of Midwest, south on West Coast from central California to southern Baja California, and through central Texas to central mainland of Mexico. Winters from central California, southern Arizona, and southern Texas, south to limits of breeding range in Mexico.

Found in shrub steppeClick word for definition, rocky canyons, open woodlands, and broken forests (primarily in arid or semi-arid habitats). Also found in valleys and foothills, mixed chaparralClick word for definition/grassland, and pinyon/juniper habitat.

Feeds on insects such as moths, beetles, grasshoppers, and locusts.

NocturnalClick word for definition. Nests on gravel or rock. Catches insects on ground, or vaults upward and captures insects in air.

Breeding begins in late March in southern range, to late May in north. Both sexes alternate incubating 2 eggs. Nestlings are semi-precocialClick word for definition and downy.

Element Code: ABNTA04010
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4,NTMB
National Rank: N5B,N?N

Important State References:
No references are available at this time.

Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.