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.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Caprimulgidae — noun goatsuckers • Syn: ↑family Caprimulgidae • Hypernyms: ↑bird family • Member Holonyms: ↑Caprimulgiformes, ↑order Caprimulgiformes • Member Meronyms …   Useful english dictionary

  • caprimulgidae — cap·ri·mul·gi·dae …   English syllables

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  • family Caprimulgidae — noun goatsuckers • Syn: ↑Caprimulgidae • Hypernyms: ↑bird family • Member Holonyms: ↑Caprimulgiformes, ↑order Caprimulgiformes • Member Meronyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Caprimulgidé — Caprimulgidae Caprimulgidés …   Wikipédia en Français

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