American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various oceanic birds of the genus Puffinus, having a short hooked bill with tube-shaped nostrils and long slender wings that appear to shear the water as the bird flies along the surface.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A sea-bird of the petrel family, Procellariidæ, and section Puffineæ, having a long and comparatively slender, much-hooked bill, short nasal tubes obliquely truncate and with a thick nasal septum, long pointed wings, short tail, and close oily plumage. There are many species, mostly of the genus Puffinus, found on all seas, where they fly very low over the water, seeming to shear, shave, or graze it with their long blade-like wings (whence the name). Some of them are known as hags or hagdens. Three of the commonest are the greater shearwater, P. major; the Manx shearwater, P. anglorum; and the sooty shearwater, P. fuliginosus, all of the North Atlantic. They nest in holes by the seaside, and the female lays one white egg. See cut under
- n. Same as cutwater, 3. See Rhynchops.
- n. Any of various long-winged pelagic seabirds in the genera Calonectris or Puffinus, of the family Procellariidae, that breed on islands and coastal cliffs.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) Any one of numerous species of long-winged oceanic birds of the genus Puffinus and related genera. They are allied to the petrels, but are larger. The Manx shearwater (P. Anglorum), the dusky shearwater (P. obscurus), and the greater shearwater (P. major), are well-known species of the North Atlantic. See hagdon.
- n. long-winged oceanic bird that in flight skims close to the waves
“The shearwater was a larger species of tern, or sea-swallow; the”
“a gull-like bird called a shearwater belong to the "tube-nosed swimmers," on account of their curious long beaks.”
“shearwater" (Puffinus cinereus), which is found on the coast of”
“Additional immigrants from the south during summer include short-finned squid, fish such as mackerel and bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus), and birds such as greater shearwater (Puffinus gravis) and sooty shearwater (P. griseus).”
“The major islands have such special species as the white-tailed tropicbird, the rare Manx (Newell's) shearwater, and the dark-rumped petrel, all of which seek crater walls for nesting.”
“I admired the bold black strokes of her eyebrows, arched like the wings of a shearwater, and how each could swoop and rise on its own.”
“I clambered in, and as we zoomed south at a terrifying 20 mph, I felt like a Manx shearwater in a wicker basket being flown to Venice.”
“Scandola Nature Reserve contains a rich pelagic, sedentary and migrant fauna including several dozen pairs of shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmareti, peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus, three or four pairs of osprey Pandion haliaetus and Eleonora falcon Falco eleonorae with Cory's shearwater Puffinus diomedea and Audouin's gull Larus audouinii (R) occurring in the littoral zone.”
“The main southern ocean breeding sites of little shearwater Puffinus assimilis are Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island, with breeding pairs numbering several million.”
“Three other breeding species are endemic to the Tristan-Gough islands: great shearwater Puffinus gravis (2 million pairs), Atlantic yellow-nosed mollyhawk Thalassarche chlororhyncos (1,000 pairs) and Atlantic petrel Pterodroma incerta (VU).”
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Compound adjectives - based on the FAO ASFIS list of waterborne species.
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