Definition of nightjar in US English:



  • A nocturnal insectivorous bird with gray-brown camouflaged plumage, large eyes and gape, and a distinctive call.

    Family Caprimulgidae (the nightjar family): several genera, especially Caprimulgus, and many species, including the European nightjar (C. europaeus), which has a chirring call. The nightjar family also includes the nighthawks, pauraques, poor-wills, whippoorwills, and chuck-will's-widow

    Also called goatsucker
    • ‘Birds such as grouse, crows, quail, partridge, nightjars, cuckoos, shrikes, larks, pipits, merlins, harriers, kestrels and buzzards would all have been seen.’
    • ‘We even visited the walkway at night with the good fortune of looking down on one of the rarest birds of our trip, a brown nightjar, a not too distant relative of our whippoorwill, but a very rare and little-known bird.’
    • ‘The nocturnal owls, nightjars, and allies often are poorly known, and very few species have been studied in detail.’
    • ‘My encounters with that mysterious bird, the nightjar, have been few and are perhaps the more memorable for that.’
    • ‘The classification we use recognizes three distinct orders for owls, falcons, and nightjars.’