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. The popular natural history . Zoology. 268 THE GOAT-SUCKER. catch the cockchafers, as they fly about during the night in search of their food, and does not leave us until it has done its best to eat every chafer that comes across its path. The Nightjar also feeds on moths of various kinds, and catches them by sweeping quickly and silently among the branches of the trees near which the moth tribes most love to congregate. While engaged in their sport, they will occasionally settle on a bank, a wall, a post, or other convenient perch, crouch downward until they bring their head almost on a lev

. The popular natural history . Zoology. 268 THE GOAT-SUCKER. catch the cockchafers, as they fly about during the night in search of their food, and does not leave us until it has done its best to eat every chafer that comes across its path. The Nightjar also feeds on moths of various kinds, and catches them by sweeping quickly and silently among the branches of the trees near which the moth tribes most love to congregate. While engaged in their sport, they will occasionally settle on a bank, a wall, a post, or other convenient perch, crouch downward until they bring their head almost on a lev Stock Photo
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The Book Worm / Alamy Stock Photo

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RD8BBP

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7.1 MB (527.3 KB Compressed download)

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1643 x 1521 px | 27.8 x 25.8 cm | 11 x 10.1 inches | 150dpi

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. The popular natural history . Zoology. 268 THE GOAT-SUCKER. catch the cockchafers, as they fly about during the night in search of their food, and does not leave us until it has done its best to eat every chafer that comes across its path. The Nightjar also feeds on moths of various kinds, and catches them by sweeping quickly and silently among the branches of the trees near which the moth tribes most love to congregate. While engaged in their sport, they will occasionally settle on a bank, a wall, a post, or other convenient perch, crouch downward until they bring their head almost on a level with their feet, and utter the peculiar churning note which has earned for them the name of Churn-Owls, Jar-Owls, and Spinners. Their cry has been rather well compared to that sound which is produced by the larger beetles of the night, but of course much louder, and with the addition of the characteristic " chur-r-r !—chur-r-r !" Sometimes, although but seldom, the Nightjar utters its cry while on the wing. When it settles, it always seats itself along a branch, and almost invariably with its head pointing towards the trunk of the tree. There is also a strange squeak- ing sound which is emitted by the Nightjar while playing round the trees at night, and which is supposed to be a cry of play- fulness or a call to its mate. Unlike the Falconidas, the Goat-sucker catches its prey, not with its claws, but with its mouth, and is aided in retaining them m that very wide receptacle, by the glutinous secretion with which it is lined, and the " vi- brissae" or hair-like feathers which surroimd its margin. On an examinatibn of the foot of this bird, the claw of the middle toe is seen to be serrated like the teeth of a comb, a structure which has never yet been satis- factorily explained, notwith- standing the various theories which have been put forward concerning its use. The hind toe of each foot is very mobile, and can be brought round to the remaining toes, s

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