Common Pauraque

The Common Pauraque is a medium-sized nightjar species found in the Americas. They measure around 9-11 inches in length and have a wingspan of 22-24 inches. Males tend to be slightly smaller than females, weighing between 1.5-2.5 ounces, while females weigh between 1.8-3.5 ounces. They have a distinctive plumage that is mottled brown and buff, with black and white markings on their wings and tail. Their large eyes are set back on their head, and they have a short, hooked bill.

One of the most distinguishing field marks of the Common Pauraque is the pattern on their wings. The black and white markings on their wings form a distinctive cross shape when the bird is in flight. Their tail is also notable, with white tips on the outer feathers. When the bird is roosting, they have excellent camouflage, and their mottled brown and buff feathers help them blend in seamlessly with their surroundings.

Common Pauraques are non-migratory in the southern parts of their range, but some populations in the northern parts of their range may migrate seasonally. They can be found in a range of habitats, including dry forests, scrublands, and open areas. They are most active at night and can often be seen hunting insects in flight. They are also known for their distinctive calls, which include a repeated “pawr-ah-kee” sound, from which they derive their name.

Overall, the Common Pauraque is a fascinating bird with many unique characteristics. Their distinct patterned wings and tails, as well as their nocturnal habits and calls, make them a sought-after sighting for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike.