Definition of sheathbill in English:



  • A mainly white pigeon-like bird with a horny sheath around the base of the bill, breeding on the coasts of sub-Antarctic islands and feeding by scavenging.

    Family Chionididae and genus Chionis: two species

    • ‘Some species such as skuas (Catharacta spp.), jaegers (Stercorarius spp.), and sheathbills (Chionis spp.) are considered obligate kleptoparasites, particularly during the breeding season or on migration.’
    • ‘Breeding in separated pairs, this snowy sheathbill has a large nest in a rocky crevice made of a variety of materials thrown up on the beach by the waves.’
    • ‘During lunch the local information came in, so we drove back to Cape Town harbor and had a search for the sheathbill from the port's main jetty.’
    • ‘One group is studying kelp gulls, south polar skuas and sheathbills and another group is studying Adelie penguins.’
    • ‘In addition to sheathbills, he worked on albatrosses, petrels, penguins, and terrestrial invertebrates.’