Definition of alcid in English:



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

    ‘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.’



/ˈalsəd/ /ˈælsəd/


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