Common Pauraque
Nyctidromus albicollis
The Common Pauraque (Nyctidromus albicollis) is a member of the nightjar or "goatsucker" family. During the day the bird will rest quietly on the leaf litter and be virtually invisible to the human eye. At dusk and into the night, the species becomes active in its hunt for flying insects. The easily recognized call of "wheet wheet wheeeer" is one of the most common night sounds within the range of the bird. Anyone who has visited the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas is familiar with this vocalization. The species occurs from south Texas southward to Argentina. The shot at right was taken in February, 2000, at Santa Ana N.W.R., Hidalgo Co., Texas with a Canon EOS 1N & EF 300mm F/4L IS lens with a 2X extender on Fuji Velvia. This Common Pauraque was spotted as it was sleeping on the ground and I was able to get some ground level shots. With the eye closed the bird blends into its surroundings with an amazing camouflage. The next shot shows a typical view of a Common Pauraque at night as it sits on a bare patch of ground. This shot was taken with the same equipment as above in May, 2000, in Kenedy Co., Texas. The following two shots were also from Kenedy Co., Texas, in June, 2000.