Definition of shearwater in US English:



  • A long-winged seabird related to the petrels, often flying low over the surface of the water far from land.

    Family Procellariidae: three genera, in particular Puffinus, and many species

    • ‘Well, their closest relative has often been suggested as the petrels, albatross and shearwaters, but we don't know just how close these two groups are.’
    • ‘In the Antarctic wildlife, there are as many as five species of albatross, including the huge wandering and royal albatrosses, as well as several species of prions, stormpetrels, petrels, diving petrels, and shearwaters.’
    • ‘Albatrosses, petrels, shags and shearwaters glide merrily around, all because of continental shelves and currents that slope and converge and form a giant feeding ground for these stars of the sea.’
    • ‘Among the species most likely to vanish from the earth in the next few years are the Hawaiian crow, the Balearic shearwater (a Mediterranean seabird) and the begonia oxyanthera, a plant which is native to Cameroon.’
    • ‘It is here we find the boobies, shearwaters, gannets, petrels, and the albatross.’
    • ‘For me, it will always be a trip of a lifetime, as we were soon surrounded by a bewildering assortment of albatrosses, shearwaters and petrels, each a new species for us.’
    • ‘It is anticipated that the results will be some surprise, particularly where petrels and shearwater numbers are concerned.’
    • ‘If you are visiting Ocean City, take a birdwatching trip on a charter boat to see shearwaters, skuas, Wilson's storm-petrels, and Atlantic puffins.’
    • ‘Usually you can expect to see great numbers of pelagic birds - gannets, shearwaters, jaegers, storm-petrels, alcids - that live mainly at sea.’
    • ‘A related species, the whiskered auklet, has a similar tangerine-like plumage odor, and other sea birds such as shearwaters and storm petrels have distinct musky odors.’
    • ‘So did populations of sooty shearwaters, a seabird that eats young fish and large plankton, which plummeted 90 percent.’
    • ‘The horrifying screams of petrels and shearwaters coming to their burrows after sunset have given rise to all kinds of superstitions.’
    • ‘Unlike seabirds like terns or shearwaters, which can rest and feed along the way, the curlews will drown if they land on the ocean.’
    • ‘The Newell's shearwater and Hawaiian petrel, known for its daring aerial maneuvers and black collar, live mostly out at sea.’
    • ‘While there are few wild animals in Iceland, there is abundant bird life - ducks, geese and, among the many sea-birds I spotted, petrels, puffins, tern, gannets, skuas and shearwaters.’
    • ‘Albatross, cape pigeons, diving petrels, monymawks, mottled petrels, and sooty shearwaters all took their turns skimming our bow wave for fish.’
    • ‘It belongs to a group of seabirds commonly known as petrels and shearwaters.’
    • ‘Watchers at Monomoy this past week discovered hundreds of Wilson's petrels, a few sooty shearwaters, eiders and parasitic jaegers.’
    • ‘Next stop was at Collieston for a spot of lunch and some sea watching, following encouraging reports of big movements of petrels and shearwaters.’
    • ‘There's always the chance of a minke whale, too, while terns, fulmars, guillemots, puffins and shearwaters come as standard.’