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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Common Pauraque -- Nyctidromus albicollis
(formerly Pauraque)

RANGE: Resident in southern Texas south to South America.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: During the breeding season inhabits brushy woods, open chaparral, rivers that are lined by trees and brush. Prefers patches of mesquite and ebony blackbead woodlands. In winter, prefers dense bottomland thickets.

NEST: Lays eggs on the ground in open woodlands with a leaf-covered floor, in brush, or on the edges of fields. Does not build a nest, but in more open areas may conceal eggs by a bush.

FOOD: Usually perches on ground and flies up to snatch airborne insects; sometimes perches on low dead limbs or on top of a bush to hunt for insects. Eats low-flying moths, beetles, locusts, bugs, bees, wasps, butterflies, and other insects.

REFERENCES: Bent 1940a, Harrison 1979, Oberholser 1974a.

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