Lesser Nighthawk

Chordeiles acutipennis

Order

CAPRIMULGIFORMES

Family

Nighthawks and Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)

Code 4

LENI

Code 6

CHOACU

ITIS

  • wgba_banner
  • ibird_banner
  • journal_banner
1 2 3

ILLUSTRATION

ask community
Copyright © 2004 - 2014 Mitch Waite Group

PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Lesser Nighthawk is evaluated as Least Concern at this time. This terrestrial bird species is native to South America, North America and Central America. The range of the Lesser Nighthawk is more than 2 million square kilometers. The population of this bird species is nearing 6 million individual birds. At this time the Lesser Nighthawk is not facing any immediate threats or dangers. The prior rating of the Lesser Nighthawk was Lower Risk. This rating was downgraded in 2004 to Least Concern due to its range and population.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Lesser Nighthawk: Medium-sized nightjar with gray and white mottled upperparts, white throat, and brown and white mottled underparts with dark belly bars. Wings are dark with conspicuous pale patches visible in flight. Tail is dark brown and has thin white bars across top. Darting erratic flight.


Range and Habitat

Lesser Nighthawk: This species breeds across central California, Nevada, and southwestern Utah south across New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas, and into Mexico. A few individuals winter in southern Florida. They winter from mid-Mexico southward. These birds prefer large open areas, including arid and semi-arid lowlands.

whatbird search for your browser

SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"chack, chack"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Lesser Nighthawks catch flying insects on the wing, mainly foraging near dawn and dusk (crepuscular), sometimes at night with a full moon or near street lighting.
  • Adults flushed from the nest may try to distract the intruder or defend the nest site by aerial attack.
  • Young birds sometimes perform a defense display by opening up their mouths and spreading their wings, looking to appear threatening and looking larger than they actually are before they run off.
  • A group of nighthawks are collectively known as a "kettle" of nighthawks.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Lesser Nighthawk

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Imran Kahn

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

.
UnderpartsX
Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.
UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
GapeX
Also called commissure, it is the hinge where the mandibles meet.
Rictal bristlesX
The short and stiff feathers near the bill.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X