Common Poorwill Life History


Habitat ScrubDry, open,grassy or shrubby areas.Back to top


Food InsectsNight-flying insects.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Ground

Nest Description

No nest structure; eggs laid on ground.

Nesting Facts
Egg Description:White or pinkish.
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Behavior Aerial ForagerBack to top


Conservation Low ConcernCommon Poorwill populations appear to have slowly declined between 1966 and 2014, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 2 million with 77% spending some part of the year in the U.S., and 75% in Mexico. They rate a 9 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score and are not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List.Back to top


North American Bird Conservation Initiative. 2014. The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Partners in Flight (2017). Avian Conservation Assessment Database. 2017.

Sauer, J. R., J. E. Hines, J. E. Fallon, K. L. Pardieck, Jr. Ziolkowski, D. J. and W. A. Link. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, results and analysis 1966-2013 (Version 1.30.15). USGS Patuxtent Wildlife Research Center 2014b. Available from

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley guide to birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

Woods, Christopher P., Ryan D. Csada and R. Mark Brigham. 2005. Common Poorwill (Phalaenoptilus nuttallii), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

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