Caprimulgus: The Goat-Sucker of Carolina.
This Bird agrees with the description of that in Mr. Willoughby,
p. 107. of the same name, except that this is somewhat less. They
are very numerous in Virginia and Carolina, and are
called there East India Bats. In the evening they appear
most, and especially in cloudy weather: before rain, the air is
full of them, pursuing and dodging after Flies and Beetles. Their
Note is only a screep; but by their precipitating and swiftly mounting
again to recover themselves from the ground, they make a hollow
and surprizing noise; which to Strangers is very observable, especially
at dusk of the evening, when the cause is not to be seen. This noise
is like that made by the wind blowing into a hollow vessel; wherefore
I conceive it is occasion'd by their wide mouth forcibly opposing
the air, when they swiftly pursue and catch their prey, which are
Flies, Beetles, &c.
They usually lay
two eggs, like in shape, size, and colour to
those of Lapwings, and on the bare ground.
Its stomach was filled up with half-digested
Scarabei, and other Insects; and amongst the remains, there seemed
to be the feet of the Grillotalpa, but so much consumed,
that I could not be certain: they being both nocturnal Animals,
makes the probability the greater. They disappear in winter.
The Grillotalpa is found both in Virginia
and Carolina, in the like marshy grounds as in England,
and seems not to differ from ours.