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Help develop a Bird ID tool!

Common Poorwill

Phalaenoptilus nuttallii ORDER: CAPRIMULGIFORMES FAMILY: CAPRIMULGIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A small nightjar of the arid West, the Common Poorwill is the smallest member of its family in North America. It is one of the few birds known to hibernate during the winter.

Funky Nests
ML Essential Set

Appearance

Owl-like
Owl-like
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Medium-sized bird.
  • Large-headed with a tiny bill.
  • Tiny feet (rarely seen).
  • Very well camouflaged, colored in browns, black, and gray.
  • In flight, short rounded wings.
  • Short, rounded tail.
  • White band across throat.

Immature Description

Similar to adult.

Range Map Help

Common Poorwill Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Field MarksHelp

  •  

    Common Poorwill

     
    • © France Dewaghe, California, July 2006
  •  

    Common Poorwill

     
    • © France Dewaghe, California, July 2006

Similar Species

  • Nighthawks have longer, thinner wings with a white bar across the tip, and a longer tail.