CHAP. 56. (40.)—RESPECTING THE FOOD OF BIRDS–THE CAPRI-
MULGUS, THE PLATEA.
The instincts, also, of birds are no less varied, and more especially in relation to their food. "Caprimulgus1
name of a bird, which is to all appearance a large blackbird;
it thieves by night, as it cannot see during the day. It enters
the folds of the shepherds, and makes straight for the udder
of the she-goat, to suck the milk. Through the injury thus
inflicted the udder shrivels away, and the goat that has been
thus deprived of its milk, is afflicted with incipient blindness.
is the name of another, which pounces upon other
birds when they have dived in the sea, and, seizing the head
with its bill, makes them let go their prey. This bird also
swallows and fills itself with shell-fish, shells and all; after
the natural heat of its crop has softened them, it brings them
up again, and then picking out the shells from the rest, selects
the parts that are fit for food.