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White-tailed Nightjar (Hydropsalis cayennensis)

Little Tobago Island, Tobago

June 22, 2012

White-tailed Nightjar

Nancy took this image while on a trip led by Brian Rapoza for the Tropical Audubon Society to Trinidad and Tobago.

The white-tailed nightjar is a small nightjar. Males and females have different plumage. This is a male. Males have high contrast from above and are pale and possibly mottled underneath. Their undertail is solid white with a clearly-visible dark band near the base. The female's overall pattern is cryptic. Their underparts, while similar to the male's, is darker, and they are typically barred on the breast. Their undertail is barred, not plain white. These birds are frequently misidentified as a common pauraque.

Nightjars, as the name implies, are strictly nocternal. The white-tailed nightjar's habitat is open grassy or shrubby areas from Costa Rica across northern South America. A single bird is usually found sitting on the ground at night, flying up to catch insects.

Photographic details: Canon EOS 7D camera w/ EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens set at 220mm. Off-camera flash was used. Camera was on f/9.5 for 1/2000 second at ISO 800.

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Print details: maximum size Medium Printed Estimated
  Fine Art Paper N/A 16" x 111/2"
  Canvas N/A 30" x 21"

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