Definition of mutton bird in English:

mutton bird

noun

  • A shearwater or petrel of the southern oceans.

    • ‘Similarly, we have the example of the mutton birds in the Titi Islands.’
    • ‘Also known as mutton birds, the shearwaters usually travel past the west coast of Ireland before crossing the Atlantic to nest in their native Tierra Del Fuego during mid December.’
    • ‘The Maori had taken huge quantities of eels and mutton birds back to New Zealand.’
    • ‘The Maori cuisine is based on seafood, mutton birds (young petrels), wild pork or fowl, fat lamb, and kumara.’
    • ‘In coastal areas they have been known to kill and eat young mutton birds.’

Origin

Early 19th century: because when cooked, the flesh of some species resembles mutton in flavour.