Eared Poorwill (Nyctiphrynus mcleodii)

The Eared Poorwill is a nocturnal bird belonging to the Caprimulgidae family, also known as the nightjars. It is primarily found in the western part of North America, ranging from southern British Columbia to southern Mexico. It is a migratory species, which moves to the warmer regions of the continent during winters.

The Eared Poorwill measures around 22-27 cm in length and has a wingspan of 51-58 cm. It has a stocky body, large head, and a short bill. Its name comes from the small tufts of feathers on its head, which resemble ears. The bird has a brownish-grey plumage with a darker pattern of spots and bars. Its underparts are typically light cream or white. The poorwill has large, round eyes designed for exceptional night vision, and a wide gape, which allows it to catch insects in flight.

Eared Poorwill birds are primarily nocturnal and crepuscular, which means active during dawn and dusk. They rest during the day, usually perching on the ground to blend into their surroundings. They are not typically social birds, preferring to spend most of their time alone. Their diet consists mainly of insects, and they feed on species such as crickets, beetles, and moths. They catch their prey by swooping through the air or by picking it up from the ground.

The Eared Poorwill has a unique method of defense mechanism. If disturbed, it remains still and tries to blend in with its surroundings by flattening its body. They are known for their amazing camouflage ability, which makes them almost invisible. They are difficult to locate during the day, and their call is typically the only way to tell they are in the vicinity. Their call is a simple repetition of a single note that sounds like "poor-will."

In conclusion, the Eared Poorwill is a fascinating bird that has adapted well to its nocturnal lifestyle. With its excellent night vision, unique camouflage ability, and swift flying, it is an extraordinary bird. However, due to habitat loss and other threats, its population is declining. Therefore, it is essential to conserve the Eared Poorwill's natural habitats to ensure this magnificent bird can continue its existence.

Other names

Nyctiphrynus mcleodii



Eared Poorwill

enganyapastors asteca



meksički leganj

lelek mexický

Mexicansk Poorwill

Mexicaanse Poorwill


Engoulevent aztèque


Succiacapre di McLeod


ausuotasis amerikinis lėlys


lelkowiec meksykański


Ушастый козодой

Ušati purvil

lelek aztécky

Chotacabras prío

mexikansk nattskärra

Aztek Çobanaldatanı

леляк мексиканський


füles lappantyú