storm petrel

noun

variants or less commonly storm-petrel
ˈstȯrm-ˈpe-trəl How to pronounce storm petrel (audio)
-ˈpē-trəl
: 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 Grandjean, an enthusiastic bird-watcher with the extravagant eyebrows of a rockhopper penguin, had fond memories of banding storm petrels in the Faroes in his late teens and was familiar with the grindadráp. Kim Tingley, New York Times, 16 Aug. 2023 Nesting storm petrels, wood mice and a variety of moths also call the island home. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Feb. 2023 This is what might have happened with the New Zealand storm petrel. Claire Bugos, Discover Magazine, 28 May 2021 Prior to the rediscovery, the New Zealand government began a massive conservation effort to rid that region of feral cats and rats, which prey on native species like the storm petrel. Claire Bugos, Discover Magazine, 28 May 2021 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

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'storm petrel.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1833, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of storm petrel was circa 1833

Dictionary Entries Near storm petrel

Cite this Entry

“Storm petrel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/storm%20petrel. Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

storm petrel

noun
: any of various small dark petrels that usually return to land only to nest typically in burrows

called also Mother Carey's chicken

More from Merriam-Webster on storm petrel

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