Volume 5, Plate 4

Night Hawk and female

Night Hawk

The ridiculous name goatsucker,--which was first bestowed on the European species, from a foolish notion that it sucked the teats of the goats, because, probably, it inhabited the solitary heights where they fed, which nickname has been since applied to the whole genus,--I have thought proper to omit. There is something worse that an absurd in continuing to brad a whole family of birds with a knavish name, after they are universally known to be innocent of the charge. It is not only unjust, but tends to encourage the belief in an idle fable that is totally destitute of all foundation.