common nighthawk

common nighthawk
Caprimulgidae Caprimulgidae n. [L. capris goat + mulgere to milk.] a widely distributed natural family of nocturnally active birds including the {whip-poor-will} ({Caprimulgus vociferus}), the {chuck-will's-widow} ({Caprimulgus carolinensis}), and the {common nighthawk} ({Chordeiles minor}); -- called popularly the {goatsuckers} or {nightjars}. The nighthawks are sometimes active during the day.

Syn: goatsuckers, nightjars, family {Caprimulgidae}. [PJC]

The family . . . is alternately known as the nightjars (derived from the "churring" sounds of several species -- "jarring" the night air), or goatsuckers, a nonsense name that should be discontinued as it has its origin in the preposterous myth that the birds sucked the milk of nanny goats until they were dry. --Terence Michael Short (Wild Birds of the Americas)


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

См. также в других словарях:

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  • nighthawk — [nīt′hôk΄] n. ☆ 1. any of various nightjars that feed on flying insects, esp., the common nighthawk (Chordeiles minor), which is active during the day or night ☆ 2. NIGHT OWL (sense 2) …   English World dictionary

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  • nighthawk — /nuyt hawk /, n. 1. any of several longwinged, American goatsuckers of the genus Chordeiles, related to the whippoorwill, esp. C. minor, having variegated black, white, and buff plumage. 2. the European goatsucker or nightjar, Caprimulgus… …   Universalium

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  • nighthawk — noun Date: 1611 1. a. any of a genus (Chordeiles) of American nightjars related to the whip poor will b. a common European nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus) 2. a person who habitually is active late at night …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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