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Order Description


Order Description

The Order Caprimulgiformes contains five families, 20 genera and about 113 species. In Georgia, there is one family and three species.

These birds have long wings, small feet, and a small weak bill with a large gaping mouth opening. The mouth is usually surrounded by bristles which aid in food capture. Goatsuckers are primarily nocturnal or crepuscular (twilight) birds. The plumage is usually grays and browns with intricate patterns which create superb camouflage for their day-time roosting. Most of the species lay their one or two eggs on the ground and are probably monogamous.

Family Caprimulgidae

This family includes nighthawks, nightjars, whip-poor-wills and chuck-will's-widows. See order for description.
Species in this family:
    Chuck-will's-widow (Caprimulgus carolinensis)
    Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor)
    Whip-poor-will (Caprimulgus vociferus)