Definition of hawksbill in US English:


(also hawksbill turtle)


  • A small tropical sea turtle with hooked jaws and overlapping horny plates on the shell, extensively hunted as the traditional source of tortoiseshell.

    Eretmochelys imbricata, family Cheloniidae

    • ‘There are two species of sea turtles that mate and nest in the Gulf: the hawksbill and the green turtle, both endangered species.’
    • ‘Close to the mangroves a big hawksbill turtle surfaced then lay motionless in the sunshine, no doubt sunbathing.’
    • ‘Our hawksbills were visiting in search of food and unintimidated by the sharks or by us.’
    • ‘At the end of the wall we inadvertently disturbed a hawksbill turtle resting among the fronds of a soft coral.’
    • ‘Turtles, green and hawksbill, still browse among the sponges and coral of the reefs.’
    • ‘I reminisce about the sight of a hawksbill turtle and the sound it made as it swept its fins over the sand for a comfortable spot to lay eggs.’
    • ‘There is incredible 60m visibility, amazing multicoloured coral, and everything from hawksbill turtles to giant manta rays to see.’
    • ‘They might decide to visit the Turtle Island park, a famous breeding ground for green and hawksbill turtles.’
    • ‘Officers at the center said they cultivate 2 types of baby sea turtles; the lays turtle and the hawksbill turtle.’
    • ‘The shell, generally from the backplates of the Far Eastern hawksbill turtle, was heated and then molded into the desired shape.’
    • ‘On many nights, endangered hawksbill and green sea turtles crawl onto the beach to lay their eggs.’
    • ‘We peer into tubs of wriggling baby turtles - hawksbill, green, loggerhead - each about the size of a 50 cent piece, who await release at night.’
    • ‘Another reason for arriving at night and stepping very carefully is that you might encounter a leatherback or hawksbill turtle coming ashore to lay her eggs.’
    • ‘When conditions are really harsh and the diving itinerary allows only beach diving, there is a good chance of seeing hawksbill turtles on the east coast.’
    • ‘Two of the beaches have evidence of more than 100 nesting pits each and appear to be especially important for hawksbills.’
    • ‘One time I come across one of numerous hawksbill turtles feeding undisturbed on the reef.’
    • ‘For centuries hawksbills have been hunted for their carapace, the natural source of tortoiseshell.’
    • ‘The hawksbill sea turtle population in the Gulf of Thailand is small and in danger of extinction because of illegal fishing and the mammals' limited ability to reproduce.’
    • ‘Japan has agreed to stop importing hawksbill turtles under the threat of a trade ban by the U.S.’
    • ‘Green and hawksbill turtles use the beaches for nesting, and the resort has a small hatchery.’