Goatsuckers, Nightjars (Family Caprimulgidae)
Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal or crepuscular birds with long
wings, short legs and very short bills. They are sometimes referred to
as goatsuckers from the mistaken belief that they suck milk from goats
(the Latin for goatsucker is caprimulgus). Some New World species
are named as nighthawks.
Nightjars are found around the world. 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 long pointed wings.
Their soft plumage is cryptically coloured to resemble bark or leaves.
Some species, unusual for birds, perch along a branch, rather than
across it. This helps to conceal them during the day.
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