Mexican Whip-poor-will

Antrostomus arizonae




Goatsuckers (Caprimulgidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Cream with darker splotches and spots.

Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:

19 - 20

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On ground.

Nest Material:

No material added to nest.


Most migrate



Mexican Whip-poor-will: Medium-sized nightjar with brown, gray, and black mottled plumage. Underparts are lighter gray and brown. Throat is black, neckband is white. Tail is long and rounded with white corner patches. Female has pale brown neckband and tail patches.

Range and Habitat

Mexican Whip-poor-will: Native of southwestern United States and Mexico. Breeds in mixed and coniferous forests of the mountains of Mexico and the Southwestern United States. This species is migratory in northern portions of its range, including the breeding population of the United States. Winters from Mexico south to Panama.

Breeding and Nesting

Mexican Whip-poor-will: Two cream eggs with dark splotches and spots are laid in a shallow depression among dead leaves. Incubation ranges from 19 to 20 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Mexican Whip-poor-will: Feeds on flying insects, usually at night, finding prey by sight and sound. Small bill opens into a huge, gaping maw when it flies after prey. Foraging results in erratic flight that includes wheeling, circling, gliding, and hovering.


Mexican Whip-poor-will: Sings its name "WHIP-poor-WEEA." Eastern birds have rising last note with first and last syllables accented. Western birds sing lower and more trilled, with only the last note accented.

Similar Species

Mexican Whip-poor-will: Chuck-will's-widow is larger, has more pointed wings, and is more rufous overall.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X