from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One of the blue petrels of the genus Prion, several species of which inhabit the southern ocean.
  • n. The turn stone, Strepsilas interpres.
  • n. The red or gray phalarope.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • There is, for instance, the whale-bird, perfectly black on the top of the wings and body, and white underneath.

    A Boy's Voyage Round the World

  • The name by which they are known to the sailors is the whale-bird; they appear to take their food upon the wing, for I have never yet seen them sit upon the waters even for a single second, although I have observed them frequently, and at all hours; but night and day they hurry on with the same restless, rapid flight, sometimes going in large flocks; and I have never upon shore seen so many birds assembled upon a few square miles as

    Journals of Two Expeditions of Discovery in North-West and Western Australia, Volume 1


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • " was perhaps a little too early to hope for the larger albatrosses there was a strong likelihood of mallemawks, blue petrels, whale-birds and of course many more penguins."

    --Patrick O'Brian, The Far Side of the World, 201

    February 23, 2008