metal engraving/etching
By A. Wilson, engraved by J.G. Warnicke.

text from the plate

1. Night-Hawk

2. Female

drawn from nature by A. Wilson

engraved by J.G. Warnicke


"This bird in Virginia and some of the southern districts, is called a bat; the name Night-hawk is usually given it in the middle and northern states, probably on account of its appearance when on wing very much resembling some of our small Hawks, and from its habit of flying chiefly in the evening. ...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 than absurd in continuing to brand 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."