The nacunda nighthawk (Chordeiles nacunda) is a species of nightjar in the Caprimulgidae family. It was formerly placed in the monotypic genus Podager, but was reclassified into the genus Chordeiles in 2011. It is found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Its natural habitats are dry savanna, subtropical or tropical seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland, and heavily degraded former forest.
The former generic name "podager" originates from the Latin meaning "a man suffering from gout" and reflects the awkward walking manner of this nighthawk while the specific name "nacunda" is derived from the Guaraní Indian word for a "big-mouth."
The nacunda nighthawk is not only the largest of the highly aerial nightjars known as nighthawks and the largest species of nightjar in the neotropics, it is one of the largest species in the world. Its length, at 27.5 to 32 cm (10.8 to 12.6 in), is somewhat less than the great eared-nightjar, which is typically considered the largest species in the family, but the nacunda may actually weigh a bit more on average. Six specimens of nacunda nighthawk were found to average 159 g (5.6 oz) in body mass, with range of 130 to 188 g (4.6 to 6.6 oz). In addition to its large size, this species also is noteworthy for its partially diurnal habits. Though a capable aerial forager, the nacunda nighthawk spends a considerable amount of time on the ground; it has notably long tarsi for a nightjar, and is more likely than other species to be seen standing on the ground (rather than resting on the surface). The nacunda nighthawk is distributed throughout central and eastern South America where it can be found in savanna, grassland, river edges, and disturbed habitats, but is much less common in western Amazonia than elsewhere. Its very large size, large head, and pale body with highly contrasting black primaries make the nacunda nighthawk easy to identify.