wa·​ter·​bird | \ˈwȯ-tər-ˌbərd, ˈwä-\

Definition of waterbird 

: a swimming or wading bird

Examples of waterbird in a Sentence

gulls, ducks, and other waterbirds

Recent Examples on the Web

Black skimmers, a strikingly colored waterbird with a singularly identifiable bill, have seen their population in Texas decline by as much as 70 percent over the past 30 years. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Cow Trap Lake Project a success on multiple levels," 10 May 2018 The islands also are used as nesting sites by least terns, Forster’s terns, oystercatchers and other waterbirds. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Cow Trap Lake Project a success on multiple levels," 10 May 2018 In 2015, the first spring after the nesting islands were built, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologists documented 181 nesting pairs of colonial waterbirds nesting on the two islands. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Cow Trap Lake Project a success on multiple levels," 10 May 2018 Often regarded as pests, Canada Geese are big waterbirds with long necks, large bodies and large webbed feet. Elissa Robinson, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan hunting 101: What to hunt, best places to do it," 23 Aug. 2017 Mývatn, one of Europe’s most important waterbird habitats, used to host the largest lake ball colonies on Earth. National Geographic, "One of the World's Most Unusual Plants Is Disappearing," 8 Sep. 2016 Meanwhile, the disease has killed thousands of waterbirds, as well as nearly 200 bald eagles and a handful of geese, hawks, owls, killdeer, and probably more avian species. National Geographic, "Deadly Brain Disease Is Driving Swamp Birds Insane," 18 May 2016 Today, its remains form the Isles Dernieres chain—five islands, three of which make up Louisiana’s Terrebone Barrier Islands Refuge, which is home to nesting waterbirds. Erick Trickey, Smithsonian, "A Hurricane Destroyed This Louisiana Resort Town, Never to Be Inhabited Again," 4 Jan. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'waterbird.' 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 waterbird

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

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The first known use of waterbird was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of waterbird

: a bird that swims and lives in or near water


wa·​ter·​bird | \ˈwȯ-tər-ˌbərd, ˈwä-\

Kids Definition of waterbird

: a swimming or wading bird

Comments on waterbird

What made you want to look up waterbird? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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