• WordNet 3.6
    • n goatsucker mainly crepuscular or nocturnal nonpasserine birds with mottled greyish-brown plumage and large eyes; feed on insects
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Goatsucker (Zoöl) One of several species of insectivorous birds, belonging to Caprimulgus and allied genera, esp. the European species (Caprimulgus Europæus); -- so called from the mistaken notion that it sucks goats. The European species is also goat-milker goat owl goat chaffer fern owl night hawk nightjar night churr churr-owl gnat hawk, and dorhawk.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n goatsucker The European night-jar, Caprimulgus europœus: so called from tho vulgar notion that it sucks goats; by extension, any bird of the same genus, or of the family Caprimulgidœ. The above-named speeies is also called goat-owl, night-churr, churn-owl, fern-owl, and by other names. The best-known American goatsuckers are the whippoorwill. chuck-will's-widow, and night-hawk. The word was first a book-name, translating the Latin caprimulgus, itself a translation of the earlier Greek αἰγοθήλας. Also called goat-milker. See Caprimulgidœ.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Goatsucker a kind of swallow erroneously thought to suck goats
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. gát; Ger. geiss, Dut. geit.


In literature:

Goatsucker, linnet, stonechat,' said the Rector, fingering them.
"Robert Elsmere" by Mrs. Humphry Ward
Horsfield's goatsucker is a very vociferous bird.
"A Bird Calendar for Northern India" by Douglas Dewar
They were the wail of the goatsucker, the bay of the barking wolf, and the maniac scream of the eagle.
"The White Chief" by Mayne Reid
There are nine species of the goatsucker in Demerara, a bird with prettily mottled plumage like that of the owl.
"The World's Greatest Books, Volume 19" by Various
Numerous species of the goatsucker, well known as the bird of night, inhabit the forests of the Amazon as well as the settled districts.
"The Western World" by W.H.G. Kingston
"The Bird Book" by Chester A. Reed
The harmless, unoffending goatsucker, from the time of Aristotle down to the present day, has been in disgrace with man.
"Wanderings in South America" by Charles Waterton
Where the open trail skirted a hillside we came suddenly upon a great gathering of these goatsuckers, engaged in some strange midnight revel.
"Jungle Peace" by William Beebe
The general habits of all these birds agree with those of the typical goatsuckers.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 12, Slice 2" by Various
A goatsucker may be confused with a swallow, and a swallow may pass as a tern.
"A Quantitative Study of the Nocturnal Migration of Birds." by George H. Lowery.

In news:

Goatsucker ' tale debated.