(Common) Pauraque – Big Mouth…

Pauraque (Nyctidromus albicollis) by Ian

Pauraque (Nyctidromus albicollis) by Ian

Pauraque – Big Mouth… ~ by a j mithra

Pauraque is a medium nightjar with dark-streaked, mottled gray upperparts, white throat, black chin, rufous face, pale gray-brown underparts. Wings have brown and black bars, white band at base of primaries visible in flight. The gray tail is long, with dark edges and white patches.

Pauraque is a resident from extreme southern Texas to the American tropics; frequents semi-open scrub country with thickets and woodland clearings. Central Americans know the “white-necked night-runner” as “Don Pucuyo” or “Cabellero de la Noche” (“Gentleman of the Night”)—names reflecting its association with love and presumed amorous influence over young women.

The common name for the order and family (Caprimulgidae) in Europe and Asia it is the Goatsucker. This name is ancient and recalls a myth that these birds came down and fed at night by sucking the milk from goats.

In hot weather, they often open their mouths wide and vibrate the throat area, a behavior known as gular-fluttering. Like panting, it’s a thermoregulation behavior that helps to cool the body by increasing the rate of evaporation through the mouth..

The Bible says,

I [am] the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. (Psalm 81:10)

There is a saying in one of the south Indian states, Tamil Nadu, which says, “A child who can mouth will survive..” meaning, a child who can orate is able to survive better than the others…


Pauraque (Nyctidromus albicollis) ©Flickr

Pauraque (Nyctidromus albicollis) ©Flickr

The survival of these birds depends on how well they thermo regulate to cool their body..

  • Our survival as a child of God depends on how wide we open our mouth in the presence of God..

Remember the Bible says so much about how to use our mouth and when to use it and how powerful our mouth can be…

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (Psalm 18:21)

In general it prefers mixed habitat which offers densely vegetated hiding places – ideally forest – for the day, as well as open landscape – perhaps even rivers or wetlands – to hunt at night.

The Pauraques are strange birds with huge mouths that feed on the wing by opening their mouths and scooping in flying insects. It has rictal bristles, which are modified feathers resembling stiff hairs alongside its mouth. Highly tactile and controlled by specialized muscles, they are thought to aid in night feeding, and protect the bird’s eyes from flailing insect legs and wings.

Like its relatives, it feeds on insects caught in flight, usually by fly catching from a low perch, but also by foraging over open ground. These birds open their mouth wide even during their flight in the darkness of the night.

Are we willing to learn a lesson from these birds?

  • Why not for a change, open our mouth wide during our darkest times?
  • As these birds open their mouth wide, God fills them with insects…
  • How wonderful is the creation of our Lord!


Pauraque (Nyctidromus albicollis) ©Flickr

Pauraque (Nyctidromus albicollis) ©Flickr

How much care He has taken to create this unique bird! He has created specialized muscles for night feeding and rectal bristles alongside its mouth so that the insects does not get into its eyes..

  • When God takes so much care for a small little bird, will He not meet all our needs?

If we were like these birds, we would’ve surely questioned God about why He created those bristles alongside our mouth. Who knows we may have had a plastic surgery to look better…  We fail to understand why God had created us in a particular shape, size and colour..

Our God is so particular that, even though He created us in His own image, He had taken so much care to create us in a unique way, so that no one on the face of this earth would resemble us..

So let us all unite with King David and say,

I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well. (Psalm 139:14)

The genus and species names reflect the Pauraque’s appearance and behavior.

  • Nyctidromus means “night-runner,” in reference to the bird’s nocturnal, low-to-the-ground foraging.
  • The species name, albicollis, describes the white, bib-like splotch on the pauraque’s throat.

Although the legs of a Pauraque are so small as to be nearly impossible to see under normal conditions, the pauraque can leap half a meter off the ground to catch low-flying insects, and has been observed running on the ground during foraging.

Pauraque (Nyctidromus albicollis) by ©AGrosset

Pauraque (Nyctidromus albicollis) by ©AGrosset

With a small pair of legs these birds can leap half a meter…

Though Hind’s feet is weaker than a horse’s feet, God says that He will give us the hind’s feet to lift us high..

He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me on my high places. (Psalm 18:33)

He does not set strong horse’s feet on high but the weak hind’s feet..

Thank God if you feel that you are weak..

Shall horses run upon the rock?….. (Amos 6:12)

The male Pauraque’s song is very variable, but includes a whistled weeeow wheeooo, (“who-r-you”), soft puk puk and a whip given in the courtship flight as he flutters around the female. Her call is a rapid succession of whip sounds. If disturbed, it will sometimes run rather than fly, and it frequently rests on roads and tracks.

  • Where do we run when we are disturbed?

These birds runs and rests on roads and tracks..

  • Don’t we see a secret in its character?
  • When disturbed let us run to the road to rest…


Yea, JESUS is the road, I mean THE WAY, where there is rest and relief…

The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. (Proverbs 18:10)

Have a blessed day!

Your’s in YESHUA,
a j mithra

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Lee’s Addition:

YouTube Video by baco1970

The Pauraque is one of the 93 species in the Caprimulgidae – Nightjars Family. The Caprimulgidaes are one of four families in the Caprimulgiformes Order.

Other articles from this family include:
Futuristic Whip-poor-wills by a j mithra
Birds of the Bible – Nighthawk
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Night-Hawk


One thought on “(Common) Pauraque – Big Mouth…

  1. I just heard a bird tonight in the ONTARIO winter that l identified by your site info as a Pauraque…is it normally in my area in this cold? There are no insects this time of year!


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