Field Guides
HomeToursGuidesNewsAbout UsFAQContact Us
Bird Buzz

Nacunda: not your average goatsucker!

Nacunda Nighthawk, "big mouth" in the Guarani language, is one of the two largest Caprimulgids (nightjars, nighthawks, and their allies) in the world, and one of the most distinctive. That combination of large size, white belly, and flashy wing pattern make it unmistakeable, as shown in this lovely image by participant Tim Liguori.

Nacundas occur across a large swath of South America that includes virtually all of Brazil, overlapping into several adjacent countries. They are open-country birds, so areas of seasonally flooded grassland such as the Pantanal in Brazil and the llanos of Venezuela and eastern Colombia are their haunts. Unlike most other Caprimulgids, they are sometimes active during the day, and at some times of year they may roost in small groups on the ground in open areas. If cattle are nearby, you might mistake one at a distance for a cowpat -- until one suddenly moves!

As the "big mouth" name implies, these aerial insectivores have huge gapes in which to capture flying insects. The goatsucker moniker for the group (which is evident in the family name in Latin as well) comes from an old suspicion of birds in this family coming to drink from goats at night. Not true, of course, but makes for a good story!

We're looking forward to seeing Nacunda Nighthawks as well as nearly 500 species of other birds on our upcoming Rainforest & Savanna: Alta Floresta & the Northern Pantanal tour, Jun 22-Jul 7, 2018, with Marcelo Padua & Marcelo Barreiros, from glorious Hyacinth Macaws and Spangled Cotingas to Jabirus, raiding antbirds, and perhaps even Zigzag Heron. And we have a very good chance at Jaguar as well. Our group is limited to 10 participants with our two guides. There are two spaces still available as of this writing. Contact our office if you'd like to join the Marcelos to experience the fabulous combination of luxuriant rainforest and wide-open Pantanal this itinerary offers.

Don't forget also to view our 2017 illustrated triplist at the link below. It will give you a great taste of last year's tour.


 Other Bird Buzz Topics

Search for Tours
Sign Up for E-mailing
Request a Catalog
E-mail Us
Call us at:
Visit us on Facebook Visit us on

Private Tours | Resources | © Copyright Field Guides 2018 | 1-512-263-7295