- Very short bill
- Medium length tail
- Upperparts mottled heavily with gray, black, and
- Underparts pale with gray and black mottling
- Black throat
- White patch borders lower margin of black throat
- White tips to the outer tail feathers
- Buff patch borders lower margin of throat
- Buff tips to the outer tail feathers
Separated from nighthawks by the lack of a pale patch in the wing.
Common Poorwill is smaller and its wings extend to the tail at rest.
Chuck-will's-widow is significantly larger and longer tailed, is overall
a rich brown rather than gray, and has a buff (rather than black)
throat. All nightjars are easily identified by their distinctive songs.