American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Chiefly British A kestrel.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A kind of hawk, the kestrel, Falco tinunculus or Tinnunculus alaudarius: so called from its hovering in the face of the wind. See kestrel. Also called windbibber, windcuffer, windfanner, windhawk, windsucker, vanner-hawk, staniel, etc.
- n. UK The common kestrel.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.), Prov. Eng. The kestrel; -- called also
windbibber, windcuffer, windfanner.
- wind + hover, due to this bird’s habit of beating the wind (hovering), compare earlier windfucker. First recorded 1674. (Wiktionary)
“This beautiful picture of a flying kestrel, or windhover, is courtesy of the folks at Stanford University: www. stanford.edu/~petelat1/kestrel. jpg”
“The novelist Nicholas Royle would be heartbroken if the "windhover" were to vanish.”
“But from April onwards, as the air temperature rises, these beautiful falcons rise up again, amply justifying their wonderful folk-name, the windhover, made famous by the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.”
“Yes, it is, and from this habit it has got the name of windhover; the outspread tail is suspended and the head always points in the direction of the wind.”
“If it were really an enemy to the dovecot, we should see the pigeons in commotion as soon as it begins its evening flight; but the pigeons heed it not: whereas if the sparrow-hawk or windhover should make their appearance, the whole community would be up at once, proof sufficient that the barn owl is not looked upon as a bad, or even a suspicious, character by the inhabitants of the dovecot.”
“The kestrel, or windhover, has a peculiar mode of hanging in the air in one place, his wings all the while being briskly agitated.”
“The kestrel is the bird known in England as the windhover, on account of its habit of hovering in mid-air on rapidly-vibrating wings before pouncing on the lizard or other small fry, for which it is ever on the watch.”
“Moors an 'moors an' moors, wi 'never a tree for shelter, an' gray houses wi 'flagstone rooves, and pewits cryin', an 'a windhover goin' to and fro just like these kites.”
“Moors an 'moors an' moors, wi 'never a tree for shelter, an' grey houses wi 'flagstone rooves, and pewits cryin', an 'a windhover goin' to and fro just like these kites.”
“For more on the company's products and services, please see www. windhover.com.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘windhover’.
birds with singular names from
at least 9 English dictionaries
A list of birders' "shorthand" names, traditional nicknames, non-English names, and obsolete names for feathered creatures worldwide.
Interesting blog entry here on naming U.S. birds.
Tip of the hat to Stephen, who always tells me "only one more switchback" as we go up the trail. Usually it is a lie, but it still works!
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Looking for tweets for windhover.