nighthawk

/nuyt"hawk'/, n.
1. any of several longwinged, American goatsuckers of the genus Chordeiles, related to the whippoorwill, esp. C. minor, having variegated black, white, and buff plumage.
2. the European goatsucker or nightjar, Caprimulgus europaeus.
3. Informal. a person who is habitually up or moving about late at night; night owl.
[1605-15; NIGHT + HAWK1]

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Any of several species of North and South American birds in the whippoorwill family (Caprimulgidae) that are buff, reddish, or grayish brown, usually with light spots or patches, and 6–14 in.

(15–35 cm) long. They fly about at night, especially at evening and dawn, catching flying insects in their mouths. The common nighthawk (Chordeiles minor), or bullbat, inhabits most of North America, migrating to South America in winter. It is about 8–12 in. (20–30 cm) long and grayish brown, with a white throat and wing patches. It has a sharp nasal call. During courtship it dives swiftly, creating audible whirring sounds.

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bird
      any of several species of birds comprising the subfamily Chordeilinae of the family Caprimulgidae (see caprimulgiform). Unrelated to true hawks, they are classified with the nightjars, frogmouths, and allies in the order Caprimulgiformes. They are buffy, rufous (reddish), or grayish brown, usually with light spots or patches, and range in length from about 15 to 35 centimetres (6 to 14 inches). They fly about at night, especially at evening and dawn, catching flying insects in their mouths.

 The common nighthawk (Chordeiles minor; see photograph—>), or bullbat, inhabits most of North America, migrating to South America in winter. It is about 20 to 30 centimetres (8 to 12 inches) long, grayish brown, with a white throat and wing patches. It has a sharp nasal call. During courtship it dives swiftly, creating audible whirring sounds.

      Related species are found in the Southwestern U.S. and Central and South America. See also nightjar.

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Universalium. 2010.

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