Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
[Translation of Greek aigothēlās : aigo-, goat + -thēlās, sucker (from the belief that the bird sucked milk from goats).]
(Animals) US and Canadian any nocturnal bird of the family Caprimulgidae, esp Caprimulgus europaeus (European nightjar): order Caprimulgiformes.. Also called (in Britain and certain other countries): nightjar
any of numerous insect-eating, mostly nocturnal birds of the family Caprimulgidae, of nearly worldwide distribution, including nightjars and nighthawks.
[1605–15; translation of Latin caprimulgus, itself translation of Greek aigothḗlas]
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||goatsucker - mainly crepuscular or nocturnal nonpasserine birds with mottled greyish-brown plumage and large eyes; feed on insects|
caprimulgiform bird - long-winged nonpasserine birds
Caprimulgus carolinensis, chuck-will's-widow - large whippoorwill-like bird of the southern United States