A slender, long-tailed, nocturnal resident of South Texas. All ages are cryptically-plumaged, mostly earthy gray-brown with subtle buff and black interior mottling on most feathers and larger terminal buff and black markings on scapulars and coverts. When perched, typically on the ground in dried leaf litter, this species is near impossible to detect even from close range. Tail is proportionally longer than those of other North American Caprimulgids, alternately barred with gray and black, and extends well past the wingtips when perched. When sitting, looks neckless. Face pattern features brown ear patch outlined with black, large black eye, and short, black bill. In flight, note white bar at base of primaries and white corners on outer tail feathers. Superficially similar to both Lesser and Common Nighthawks, but slightly larger, with a longer, rounded (not notched) tail, and broader more blunt-tipped wings. Hatch-year birds show more extensive white in tail and whiter primary bar.
Length: 28 (cm) Wingspan: 61 (cm)
Sharp whistles: two or three notes, accented on middle syllable, sometimes preceded by a soft series of notes.
Scrubby, brushy woodlands, edges of open areas, road surfaces.
Nocturnal; sometimes seen flying at dusk. Roosts by day on ground or in dense vegetation, using cryptic plumage for camouflage. When flushed during the day, usually makes a few flopping wingbeats and then settles instantly upon landing. Eggs are laid on bare leaf litter.
Catches insects on the wing, opening bill wide and using bristle-like feathers around gape as a net.
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