storm petrel

variants: or less commonly storm-petrel \ ˈstȯrm-​ˈpe-​trəl , -​ˈpē-​trəl \

Definition of storm petrel 

: any of various widespread small dark petrels (family Hydrobatidae) that typically return to land only to nest usually in burrows

called also Mother Carey's chicken

Illustration of storm petrel

Illustration of storm petrel

Examples of storm petrel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Officials recorded deaths of forktail storm petrels, fulmars, shearwaters, kittiwakes, auklets and puffins. Dan Joling, The Seattle Times, "Alaska seabird deaths continue trend tied to warming ocean," 11 Aug. 2018 In the past, people managed to get their light by burning beef fat, storm petrels (a fatty seabird), and sperm whale oil. Nathanael Johnson, WIRED, "Where Can Climate Activists Find Common Ground?," 9 July 2018 The islands are also protected habitats for Manx shearwaters, northern fulmar, black-legged kittiwake, razorbill, guillemot, peregrine falcon and storm petrel. Julia Blakely, Smithsonian, "The True History of Luke Skywalker’s Monastic Retreat," 11 Jan. 2018 And the monastery steps, home to storm petrel birds, were under heavy traffic for 12 hours a day, creating a precarious situation for the small animals. Bridget Hallinan, CNT, "How to Visit Skellig Michael, Ireland's 'Star Wars' Island," 10 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'storm petrel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of storm petrel

circa 1833, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

22 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for storm petrel

The first known use of storm petrel was circa 1833

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