Meaning of alcid in English:


Pronunciation /ˈalsɪd/


  • A bird of the auk family (Alcidae); an auk.

    ‘Usually you can expect to see great numbers of pelagic birds - gannets, shearwaters, jaegers, storm-petrels, alcids - that live mainly at sea.’
    • ‘Closely related to the Tufted Puffin, the Rhinoceros Auklet is a large alcid with a wedge-shaped head.’
    • ‘One would imagine this place to be a paradise of alcids of all types, guillemots, dovekies, puffins, razorbills, murres, and murrelets all splashing around in their black and white finery.’
    • ‘However, for alcids and diving-petrels that also fly in air, forelimb joint mobility is much lower than in penguins, probably due to constraints of aerial flight.’
    • ‘Their general mode of flight (referred to as ‘whirring’ flight) is more similar to alcids than to other petrels.’
    • ‘Less chunky than the other large alcids, the Common Murre has a short neck and a long, straight bill.’
    • ‘This generality is especially true of muscles composed mostly of a single fiber type, as are the pectoral muscles of fast-flapping aerial fliers like ducks and alcids.’
    • ‘It will be fascinating to discover whether they show convergent anatomical, physiological, and behavioral adaptations for prolonged diving to those being revealed for penguins, alcids, and cormorants.’
    • ‘They are probably the most pelagic of the alcids during their non-breeding season, with many birds wintering 60-120 miles offshore.’
    • ‘The birds I was most excited to see were the alcids.’
    • ‘The nesting practices of Pigeon Guillemots vary from those of other alcids.’
    • ‘Marbled Murrelets are unusual among the alcids in that they molt to cryptic-brown plumage during the breeding season.’
    • ‘The Ancient Murrelet is more agile in flight than most alcids and will often plunge directly from the air into the water to forage.’
    • ‘Cassin's Auklet is one of the most widespread alcids in the northern Pacific.’
    • ‘The alcids (family Alcidae) have a high rate of energy expenditure during flight due to their flapping, nongliding technique.’
    • ‘They include tundra swans, arctic terns, northern fulmars, black guillemot, and various loons, ducks, geese, gulls, jaegers, and alcids.’
    • ‘Unlike most of their relative alcids, they do not fly out to sea to feed during the breeding season.’
    • ‘As have others, Gaskell uses comparative studies of Razorbills and other alcids to speculate about the behavioral ecology of Great Auks.’
    • ‘Five Puffinus species (temperate and tropical) attained allometrically scaled maximum depths comparable to those of penguins and alcids.’
    • ‘Therefore, we encourage others to study molt in alcids and other seabirds by collaborating with zoos, aquaria, and others around the world that house such species.’


Late 19th century from modern Latin Alcidae (plural), from the genus name Alca, from Old Norse álka ‘razorbill’; compare with auk.