|Family: Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
This mysterious nightjar breeds in the Caribbean and Florida Keys, and winters…well, ornithologists just don’t know. It shows up here and there in the Keys in May and is most easily observed in recently cleared or disturbed areas, so is often seen (by other birders, anyway—I’ve missed it several times) at airport fields as well as cane fields, pastures, and forests damaged by clearcuts, hurricanes, or fires.
Like the Common Nighthawk, the Antillean Nighthawk can only feed on the wing, aiming its capacious mouth toward flying insects which go down the hatch without the bird even needing to swallow, its vestigial tongue too tiny to get in the way. And like the Common Nighthawk, this one nests on the bare ground. Antillean Nighthawks head toward parts unknown (to us, at least) after the young are feeding independently.
I’ve only seen Antillean Nighthawk once, when a pair flew past at dusk, too quickly for me to get a photo, on Key West during a 2023 birding trip. The splendid photo here was taken by Kati Fleming in Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge, Puerto Rico, who made it available through Creative Commons on Wikipedia.