Definitions

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Properly, a name of the common European goatsucker or night-jar, Caprimulgus europæus.
  • n. The short-eared owl or marsh-owl, Asio brachyotus or accipitrinus.

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • It breeds on the moor, the nest generally being laid on the ground among the bracken; whence its name of fern-owl.

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

  • Some know her as the night-jar, others as the fern-owl, and still others designate her as the eve-churr.

    Janey Canuck in the West

  • Only one other English bird has so quiet a flight, and that is the nightjar, another creature of the darkness, which, though no cousin to these nocturnal birds of prey, is known in some parts of the country as the "fern-owl."

    Birds in the Calendar

  • The only sound at all -- and that was fitful -- came from a fern-owl which, from a thorn-bush above me, churred softly and at intervals his content with the night.

    Lore of Proserpine

  • The fern-owl, or goatsucker, is one of the most harmless of birds -- a sort of evening swallow -- living on moths, chafers, and similar night-flying insects.

    The Open Air

  • In some districts where they are common, it is not unusual to see a goatsucker or fern-owl hawk along close to the eaves in the dusk of the evening for moths.

    The Open Air

  • They also always stepped on the eggs of the fern-owl, which are laid on the ground, and shot the bird if they saw it, for the same reason, as it makes a jarring sound at dusk.

    The Open Air

  • At even a fern-owl beats by, passing close to the eaves whence the moths issue.

    The Life of the Fields

  • The crescent moon, the evening star, the clatter of the fern-owl, the red embers of the wood fire, the pungent smoke blown round about by the occasional puffs of wind, the shadowy trees, the sound of the horses cropping the grass, the night that steals on till the stubbles alone are light among the fields -- the gipsy sleeps in his tent on mother earth; it is, you see, primeval man with primeval nature.

    Field and Hedgerow Being the Last Essays of Richard Jefferies

  • The gipsy loves the crescent moon, the evening star, the clatter of the fern-owl, the beetle's hum.

    Field and Hedgerow Being the Last Essays of Richard Jefferies

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.