from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. the type genus of the Caprimulgidae, including the whip-poor-will (Caprimulgus vociferus) and the chuck-will's-widow (Caprimulgus carolinensis).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The typical and most extensive genus of goatsuckers, of the subfamily Caprimulginæ, formerly conterminous with the family Caprimulgidæ, but now commonly restricted to species strictly congeneric with the European goatsucker, night-jar, night-churr, or fern-owl, Caprimulgus europæus.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. type genus of the Caprimulgidae


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The old idea of its sucking the goat or cow, from the former of which it gets its classical name caprimulgus (as well as the English equivalent), is, of course, long since exploded. {46a} The churring note is seldom heard except when it is at rest on a branch of a tree.

    Records of Woodhall Spa and Neighbourhood Historical, Anecdotal, Physiographical, and Archaeological, with Other Matter

  • The caprimulgus or goat-sucker, swifts, and different kinds of swallows, with a fiery-red bee-eater in flocks, showed that the lowest temperature here does not destroy the insects on which they feed.

    Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa

  • When the moon shone bright I would frequently go and stand within three yards of a cow, and distinctly see the caprimulgus catch the flies on its udder.

    Wanderings in South America

  • The caprimulgus wheels in busy flight around the canoe, while "Whip-poor-will" sits on the broken stump near the water's edge, complaining as the shades of night set in.

    Wanderings in South America

  • Here I had a fine opportunity of examining several species of the caprimulgus.

    Wanderings in South America

  • I was glad you were pleased with my specimen of the caprimulgus, or fern-owl; you were, I find, acquainted with the bird before.

    The Natural History of Selborne, Vol. 1

  • Dear Sir, -- On the 12th July I had a fair opportunity of contemplating the motions of the _caprimulgus_, or fern-owl, as it was playing round a large oak that swarmed with _scarabaei solstitiales_, or fern-chafers.

    The Natural History of Selborne, Vol. 1

  • _caprimulgus_; all I contended for was to prove that it often chatters sitting as well as flying; and therefore the noise was voluntary, and from organic impulse, and not from the resistance of the air against the hollow of its mouth and throat.

    The Natural History of Selborne, Vol. 1

  • There is no bird, I believe, whose manners I have studied more than that of the _caprimulgus_ (the goat-sucker), as it is a wonderful and curious creature; but I have always found that though sometimes it may chatter as it flies, as I know it does, yet in general it utters its jarring note sitting on a bough; and I have for many a half hour watched it as it sat with its under mandible quivering, and particularly this summer.

    The Natural History of Selborne, Vol. 1

  • (caprimulgus minor americanus, Catesby; caprimulgus vociforus, Wilson. *); peverly. f

    Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society


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