Ladder-tailed Nightjar (Hydropsalis climacocerca)

Order: Apodiformes Family: Caprimulgidae | IUCN Status: Least Concern

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Female | Loc. Southeast Peru

Age: Adult | Sex: Male | Loc. Amazonas, Brazil

Age: Adult | Sex:  Female | Loc. Southeast Peru

Age: Adult \ Sex: Male|Female  \ Loc. Upaquihua, San Martin

Identification & Behavior: ~26 cm (10.2 in) (male) 23 cm (9 in). (female). The Ladder-tailed Nightjar is gray-brown overall. The scapular are dusky fringed with buff in most individuals. The spots on the wing coverts are buff or whitish. The breast and belly are barred. The male has a distinctive “W” shaped tail formed by long and forked outer tail feathers and equally long central pair of  gray feathers. The female has an all gray tail barred with dusky.  The male has white bands across the primary flight feathers, which are replaced with a thin and rufous band in the female.

Status: The Ladder-tailed Nightjar is fairly common to common along river-edge habitats in Amazonia where it is known to range up to elevations of 2500 m along the foothill of the Andes. It also occurs in Co, Ec, Br, and Bo.

Name in Spanish: Chotacabras de Cola Escalera.

Sub-species: Ladder-tailed Nightjar (Hydropsalis climacocerca climacocerca), Tschudi, 1844.

Meaning of Name: Hydropsalis: Gr. Hudro, hudatos= water and psalidos= pair of scissors. climacocerca: Gr. klimax, klimakos= ladder and kerkos= tail.

See more of the Family Caprimulgidae   peru aves

Distribution Map


    • Species range based on: Schulenberg, T. S., D. F. Stotz, and L. Rico. 2006. Distribution maps of the birds of Peru, version 1.0. Environment, Culture & Conservation (ECCo). The Field Museum. on 08/01/2015.