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A nightjar (Caprimulgus carolinensis) resembling the whip-poor-will and found in southeast North America, Central America, and northern South America.

[Imitative of its call.]


(Animals) a large North American nightjar, Caprimulgus carolinensis, similar to the whippoorwill


(ˈtʃʌk wɪlz)

a large nightjar, Caprimulgus carolinensis, of the southern U.S.
[1785–95; representing the bird's call]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.chuck-will's-widow - large whippoorwill-like bird of the southern United Stateschuck-will's-widow - large whippoorwill-like bird of the southern United States
caprimulgid, goatsucker, nightjar - mainly crepuscular or nocturnal nonpasserine birds with mottled greyish-brown plumage and large eyes; feed on insects
Caprimulgus, genus Caprimulgus - type genus of the Caprimulgidae
References in periodicals archive ?
And dark was a necessary condition if I was to succeed in my mission--to hear, on this mid-June, early-evening hike in the southeast section of the Dwarf Pine Plains of Westhampton, the onomatopoeic songs of whip-poor-wills (Caprimulgus vociferus) and chuck-will's-widows (Caprimulgus carolinensis), two of the three species of "goatsuckers" that occur in New York State.
While whip-poor-wills and common nighthawks have widespread breeding distributions throughout New York, chuck-will's-widows just make it into the southern portion of the state, and are a relatively new addition to the state's avifauna.
In contrast, whip-poor-wills from eastern deciduous forests move a shorter distance to the Gulf Coast and Central America, as do chuck-will's-widows from pine-oak woodlands in the Southeast.