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Hispaniolan nightjar

Hispaniolan nightjar

The Hispaniolan nightjar (Antrostomus ekmani) is a nightjar species endemic to the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, which is shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti.[2]

Hispaniolan nightjar
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Caprimulgiformes
Family: Caprimulgidae
Genus: Antrostomus
A. ekmani
Binomial name
Antrostomus ekmani
(Lönnberg, 1929)

Taxonomy and systematics

The Hispaniolan nightjar was originally described as Antrostomus ekmani; the genus was later lumped into genus Caprimulgus and still later restored as a separate genus. The International Ornithological Committee (IOC) and BirdLife International's Handbook of the Birds of the World (HBW) consider it a monotypic species. The Clements taxonomy and American Ornithological Society (AOS) consider it and the two subspecies of the Cuban nightjar (A. cubanensis) to be subspecies of the Greater Antillean nightjar.[3][2][4][5][6]


The Hispaniolan nightjar is 26 to 30 cm (10 to 12 in) long. The upperparts are dark brown speckled with grayish buff, pale buff, and grayish brown, and the crown has broad black streaks. The tail is brown and the three outer pairs of feathers are broadly tipped with white (male) or buff (female). The innermost pair has grayish brown chevrons. The wings are brown with spots, bars, and mottling of lighter shades. The face is tawny with dark brown speckles, the chin and throat dark brown with cinnamon speckles, the breast dark brown with large spots and smaller speckles of buffy white, and the belly and flanks dark brown with gray speckles. A. c. insulaepinorum is smaller, much darker, and has a shorter tail.[3]

Distribution and habitat

The Hispaniolan nighjar is found only on the large island of Hispaniola. It is much more common in the western third of the Dominican Republic than the eastern part of that country, and is very rare in Haiti to the west of the Dominican Republic. It mostly inhabits broadleaf forests at middle elevations and shuns low elevation thorn scrub and higher elevation pine forest. In elevation it ranges up to about 1,825 m (5,990 ft).[3]



The Hispaniolan nightjar is crepuscular and nocturnal. Its prey is insects that it captures in flight, though whether that is during continuous flight or by sallies from a perch or the ground is not known.[3]


The Hispaniolan nightjar breeds between April and July. The usual clutch of two eggs is laid directly on the ground without a nest. Both sexes are believed to incubate the eggs.[3]


The Hispaniolan nightjar's song is "is a rather harsh, buzzy call of one syllable" that starts with a click and rises in pitch. Its apparent disturbance call is "low-pitched, brief calls, paraphrased as quat…quat…quat…".[3]


The IUCN has assessed the Hispaniolan nightjar as being of Least Concern. Though its population is unknown, it is believed to be stable, and no immediate threats have been identified.[1] However, "destruction of habitat undoubtably would affect this species, and introduced predators also are a potential threat."[3]


  1. BirdLife International (2016). "Hispaniolan Nightjar Antrostomus ekmani". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2021.}}
  2. Gill, F.; Donsker, D.; Rasmussen, P. (July 2021). "IOC World Bird List (v 11.2)". Retrieved July 14, 2021.
  3. Weber, D. (2020). Greater Antillean Nightjar (Antrostomus cubanensis), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved October 15, 2021
  4. HBW and BirdLife International (2020) Handbook of the Birds of the World and BirdLife International digital checklist of the birds of the world Version 5. Available at: [.xls zipped 1 MB] retrieved May 27, 2021
  5. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from Retrieved August 25, 2021
  6. "Check-list of North and Middle American Birds". American Ornithological Society. June 29, 2021. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
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