Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A popular name of the sooty tern, Sterna (Haliplana) fuliginosa, whose eggs, like those of some other terns, have commercial value in the West Indies and southern United States.
- n. A name of sundry other sea-birds, as murres, guillemots, etc., which nest in large communities, and whose eggs are of economic or commercial value.
- n. dated A species of tern, especially the sooty tern (Sterna fuliginosa) of the West Indies or, in the Bahamas, Phaethon flavirostris.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) A species of tern, esp. the sooty tern (Sterna fuliginosa) of the West Indies. In the Bahama Islands the name is applied to the tropic bird, Phaëthon flavirostris.
“Also worth noting, the egg-bird cake is entirely fondant free.”
“Nine days afterwards a tropical bird was seen, and on the 15th the voyagers caught sight of an egg-bird and a gannet; and as these birds never fly far from land, the lead was constantly heaved through the night.”
“Under the low trees above-mentioned, sat infinite numbers of a new species of tern, or egg-bird.”
“On the 15th they faw an egg-bird and a gannet; and on the day following a fmall land-bird perched on the rigging, from which they concluded they were near land; but they found no ground with one hundred and twenty fathom.”
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