Dusky Nightjars, aka Dusky Cheer-For-Wills or Sooty Nightjars

The Dusky Nightjars (Antrostomus saturatus) – also known as Dusky Cheer-For-Wills or Sooty Nightjars – occur naturally in Central America.

Distribution / Habitat

The Dusky Nightjars are found in the high mountains of Costa Rica, particularly the Volcans de Irazu and de Turrialba, La Estrella de Cartago, and Escazu) and western Panama (Volcan de Chiriqui).

They inhabit moist montane forests and heavily degraded former forests.



Length: 9 – 9.8 inches (23 – 25 cm)

Average Weight: 1.94 oz or 55 grams

Plumage Details / Adults

The Male has a mostly sooty black plumage mottled with small cinnamon-rufous spots, with several broad, black stripes.

The Female looks similar to the adult, but her plumage is lighter, particularly on the upper parts.

Other Physical Details

  • Bill appears broadly triangular in the vertical profile
  • Eyes are dark and feet dusky
  • Long wings
  • Rounded tail

Diet / Feeding

The diet consists of beetles, moths, and other insects. Larger insects are carried back to their feeding perch; smaller prey is likely eaten in flight.

Alternate (Global) Names

Chinese: ????? … Czech: Lelek šerý … Danish: Costa Rica-natravn … Dutch: Zwarte Nachtzwaluw … Estonian: kostariika öösorr … Finnish: Tummakehrääjä … French: Engoulevent montagnard … German: Bergnachtschwalbe … Italian: Succiacapre bruno, Succiacapre fosco … Japanese: usuguroyotaka … Norwegian: Costaricanattravn … Polish: lelek kostarykanski, lelek kostaryka?ski … Russian: ?????? ??????? … Slovak: lelek vrchársky … Spanish: Chotacabra Oscura, Chotacabras Fuliginoso, Chotacabras sombrío … Swedish: Mörknattskärra

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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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