- a nocturnal European bird, Caprimulgus europaeus, of the family Caprimulgidae, having a short bill and a wide mouth and feeding on insects captured in the air.
- Also called goatsucker. any other nocturnal or crepuscular bird of the family Caprimulgidae.
Origin of nightjar
Examples from the Web for nightjar
Historical Examples of nightjar
That's the churning of the nightjar going up to Ballure glen.The Manxman
"Like going from the nightingale to the nightjar," said Arabella.Sandra Belloni, Complete
The general habits of the Nightjar are quite as remarkable as its note.Bible Animals;
J. G. Wood
Coultas (field notes) found the nightjar in mangrove swamps.The Avifauna of Micronesia, Volume 3
Rollin H. Baker
This and the nightjar were the only nightingales I heard that night.Fresh Fields
- any nocturnal bird of the family Caprimulgidae, esp Caprimulgus europaeus (European nightjar): order Caprimulgiformes. They have a cryptic plumage and large eyes and feed on insects
Word Origin for nightjar
Word Origin and History for nightjar
nocturnal bird, goatsucker, 1620s, from night + jar (v.). So called for the "jarring" sounds made by the male when the female is brooding, which have been described as a "churring trill that seems to change direction as it rises and falls." An Old English word for it was nihthræfn "night raven."