from The Century Dictionary.
- noun 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.
- noun 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.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun (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.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun dated A species of
tern, especially the sooty tern (Sterna fuliginosa) of the West Indiesor, in the Bahamas, Phaethon flavirostris.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
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.