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Buff-collared nightjar facts for kids

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Buff-collared nightjar
Buff-collared Nightjar.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Antrostomus ridgwayi map.svg

Caprimulgus ridgwayi

The buff-collared nightjar (Antrostomus ridgwayi) is a small nightjar. Adults are dark with brown, grey, black and white patterning on the upperparts and breast. The tail is dark brown, with darker finely barred markings throughout. The male has large white outer tail tips on the 3 outermost tail feathers. The female has buffy tail tips. These are most distinguishing characteristic to distinguish its identity from its closest relative the Whip-poor-will from where the bird gets its name. It shows a prominent buff-colored collar around its neck and nape. Its song is also very different. It sounds like an accelerating cuk, cuk, cuk, cuk, cuk, cukacheea.

Their breeding habitat is open country of Mexico and Central America to central Nicaragua. The northern limit of its range reaches just over the Mexican border to southeasternmost Arizona and southwesternmost New Mexico–(the Madrean Sky Islands in the eastern Sonoran Desert mountain region), where they are the only breeding resident birds. The nightjar's two eggs are laid directly on bare ground near rocks or scrubby vegetation—there is no nest. The adult may feign injury to distract an intruder from the eggs or young birds.

They catch flying insects on the wing, making forays to catch their prey from the ground or a perch from a bush, tree, or large rock. They are mainly active at night, but can also be awake at dawn or dusk. They usually rest on the ground during the day.


The buff-collared nightjar was previously known as Ridgway's whip-poor-will. Its scientific name (Antrostomus ridgwayi) was chosen in honor of Robert Ridgway, an American ornithologist of the 19th century.

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