storm petrel

variants: or less commonly storm-petrel \ ˈstȯrm-​ˈpe-​trəl How to pronounce storm petrel (audio) , -​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 The federal government plans to air-drop poison onto the Farallon Islands off San Francisco to kill mice that are indirectly harming a bird called the ashy storm petrel. Los Angeles Times, 23 Dec. 2021 The organization contends the nonnative, invasive mice, likely introduced by sailing vessels in the 19th century, are messing with the natural environment and threatening the ashy storm petrel, among other seabirds. Steve Lopez Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 15 Dec. 2021 The couple’s boat was coming around Cape Blanco off the southern Oregon coast at about 1:30 in the morning when a storm petrel, a small seabird, crashed into the back of Laidlaw’s head and fell into the cockpit. oregonlive, 18 Sep. 2020 This is highly unusual behavior for a storm petrel: the birds live in the open ocean and only come ashore to nest. oregonlive, 18 Sep. 2020 In the winter, when the mouse population crashes, the owls turn to the storm petrels, which are just then arriving on the islands in large numbers. Peter Fimrite,, 7 Oct. 2019 The Farallones are home to half of the world’s population of 8,000 or so Ashy storm petrels, which are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and a species of special concern in California. Peter Fimrite,, 7 Oct. 2019 But when the mouse population crashes in the winter, the owls prey on the ashy storm-petrel, whose population on the islands — where half the world’s storm petrels nest — has been declining since the ’90s. Laura Newberry,, 7 July 2019 Half of the 8,000 Ashy storm petrels in the world feed and nest on the Farallon Islands. Peter Fimrite,, 10 July 2019

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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Time Traveler for storm petrel

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The first known use of storm petrel was circa 1833

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Dictionary Entries Near storm petrel


storm petrel

storm porch

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Last Updated

10 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Storm petrel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

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