Subspecies: nominate, with range from Venezuela to N and NE Brazil, also other regions. RPPN Mãe-da-lua.
References: Cleere 1999
Synonyms: Caprimulgus albicollis GMELIN 1789;
Figure 1. At dawn or dusk, or in nights with moon-light, Nyctidromus albicollis can often be found sitting on dirt roads. It can easily be identified by the color pattern of the scapulars: partly black, partly rufous, with buff margins.
The literature describes 7 subspecies of N. albicollis, and in addition a gray and a rufous morph (Cleere 1999, plate 28). I could not figure out whether gray and rufous morphs co-exist in the same population, and whether each of the 7 subspecies has both morphs. Anyway, I have not yet seen any Pauraque with colors like the gray morph in Cleere 1999, plate 28. The individual on the photo above is similar to the figure of the resting Pauraque in Mata et al. 2006, p. 251 number 7 (whatever morph that is supposed to be).To top of page
Figure 2. Most nightjars, including Nyctidromus albicollis, have well-developed bristles around the mouth. Bristles are specialized feathers, whose functions are not known for sure, but might include, for example, insect netting, eye protection, and tactile sensing (Sick 1997, Gill 1994). On the photo, it appears that the bristles are actually split at the end (semibristles?).To top of page
Figure 3. This juvenile Pauraque was found sitting on the road, in much the same way adult birds can be seen there. Apparently, it was already foraging on its own. It certainly knew how to fly, as we could see a moment later, when it moved into a nearby tree.To top of page