SHOWING RECORD: 2 of 20 Nuttall's (Common) Poorwill
Illustration from National Geographic's Field Guide to the Birds of North America
Nuttall's (Common) Poorwill
Phalaenoptilus nuttallii nuttallii
Subspecies of Poorwill
October 17, 1804, just below the mouth of the Cannonball River, North Dakota.
Smallest nightjar in North America. Mottled gray-brown with no white mark on wings; whitish collar separates black throat from mottled underparts. Dark outer tail feathers are tipped with white, more conspicuously in male; tail is rounded. Length: 7-8.5 in (20 cm).
A mellow poor-will.
Desert, chaparral, sagebrush, and other arid uplands.
Breeds from southeastern British Columbia, Alberta, and Montana south throughout western United States. Winters in southwestern states and Mexico.
The common poorwill can hibernate, surviving in a torpid condition, without food and with its body temperature lowered almost to that of its surroundings. This adaptation is unique among birds.