Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A nightjar (Steatornis caripensis) of northern South America that roosts in caves and eats fruit. The young birds were formerly collected for their fat, which was used for cooking oil.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The oil-bird, Steatornis caripensis, a large goatsucker of the family Caprimulgidæ or placed in Steatornithidæ.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) A nocturnal bird of South America and Trinidad (Steatornis Caripensis, or S. steatornis); -- called also oilbird.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A nocturnal bird of South America and Trinidad (Steatornis caripensis, or S. steatornis); the oilbird.

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

  • noun nocturnal fruit-eating bird of South America that has fatty young yielding an oil that is used instead of butter

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[American Spanish guácharo, from guacho, vagabond, from Quechua wakcha, wahcha, poor person, orphan (the bird perhaps being so called because of its plaintive cries).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Compare Spanish sickly, dropsical, guacharaca a sort of bird.

Examples

  • The most remarkable sight was at dusk, when thousands of guacharo flew out into the night, screaming overhead in a frantic flurry of wings and unholy noise.

    Black Magic

  • The most remarkable sight was at dusk, when thousands of guacharo flew out into the night, screaming overhead in a frantic flurry of wings and unholy noise.

    Black Magic

  • The most remarkable sight was at dusk, when thousands of guacharo flew out into the night, screaming overhead in a frantic flurry of wings and unholy noise.

    Black Magic

  • The guacharo builds a solid nest like a cheese with a concave top.

    The Minds and Manners of Wild Animals A Book of Personal Observations

  • Tom's advice was so sound that I led the way farther into the cave, where we made the place echo, as if about to fall upon our heads, as we had a couple of shots, each bringing down six of the guacharo birds.

    The Golden Magnet

  • The nocturnal birds of Europe are lean, because, instead of feeding on fruits, like the guacharo, they live on the scanty produce of their prey.

    Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of America

  • Our Alpine crow builds its nest near the top of Mount Libanus, in subterranean caverns, nearly like the guacharo.

    Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of America

  • A comparison of the beaks of the guacharo and the goatsucker serves to denote how much their habits must differ.

    Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of America

  • When the crops and gizzards of the young birds are opened in the cavern, they are found to contain all sorts of hard and dry fruits, which furnish, under the singular name of guacharo seed (semilla del guacharo), a very celebrated remedy against intermittent fevers.

    Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of America

  • This fat is known by the name of butter or oil (manteca, or aceite) of the guacharo.

    Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of America

Comments

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  • Oh my god, another bird word I found before reesetee listed it!

    "Eduardo spoke with great eagerness of the guacharo, a very singular bird he had discovered in a vast cavern near Cajamarca in the Andes..."

    --O'Brian, The Wine-Dark Sea, 177

    March 14, 2008

  • The more, the merrier! Though I think I do have it listed under oilbird. :-)

    March 14, 2008