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Mark Catesby (1682-1749)

Nightjar and mole cricket 1722-6

RCIN 924821

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In the Natural History Catesby’s name for the nightjar is the ‘Goat Sucker of Carolina’, a name resulting from a belief that nightjars drank milk from goats. In fact these nocturnal birds often gather around pens containing goats and other livestock at dusk in order to catch insects attracted to the animals’ droppings. The nightjar’s beak is fringed with sensory hairs, which help it to capture insects in flight.