Caprimulgus carolinensis

Caprimulgus

Caprimulgus is a large and very widespread genus of nightjars, medium-sized nocturnal birds with long pointed wings, short legs and short bills. The name is derived from the Latin for goatsucker, based on the ancient, but mistaken, belief that the European Nightjar would suck milk from goats.

Caprimulgus nightjars are found around the world, and like other nightjars they usually nest on the ground. They are mostly active in the late evening and early morning or at night, and feed predominantly on moths and other large flying insects.

Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and their soft plumage is cryptically coloured to resemble bark or leaves. Some species, unusually for birds, perch along a branch, rather than across it, which helps to conceal them during the day. Temperate species are strongly migratory, wintering in the tropics.

Caprimulgus species have relatively long bills and rictal bristles. Many have repetitive and often mechanical songs.

Species

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