Find the word definition

Crossword clues for razorbill

The Collaborative International Dictionary

Cutwater \Cut"wa`ter\ (k[u^]t"w[add]`t[~e]r), n. (Naut.)

  1. The fore part of a ship's prow, which cuts the water.

  2. A starling or other structure attached to the pier of a bridge, with an angle or edge directed up stream, in order better to resist the action of water, ice, etc.; the sharpened upper end of the pier itself.

  3. (Zo["o]l.) A sea bird of the Atlantic ( Rhynchops nigra); -- called also black skimmer, scissorsbill, and razorbill. See Skimmer.


n. A large black and white auk, ''Alca torda'', native to the north Atlantic.


n. black-and-white northern Atlantic auk having a compressed sharp-edged bill [syn: razor-billed auk, Alca torda]


The razorbill (Alca torda) is a colonial seabird that only comes to land in order to breed. This agile bird chooses one partner for life; females lay one egg per year. Razorbills nest along coastal cliffs in enclosed or slightly exposed crevices. The parents spend equal amounts of time incubating. Once the chick has hatched, the parents take turns foraging for their young and sometimes fly long distances before finding prey.

The razorbill is primarily black with a white underside. The male and female are identical in plumage; however, males are generally larger than females. In 1918, the razorbill was protected in the United States by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Presently, the major threat for the population is the destruction of breeding sites.

Razorbill (disambiguation)

Razorbill is a large bird.

Razorbill may also refer to:

  • Razorbill (publisher), a publishing imprint of Penguin Group

Usage examples of "razorbill".

They had missed the spectacular breeding colonies of the spring when the cliffs were white with nesting guillemots and razorbills and the puffin burrows honeycombed the turf, but there were other visitors now: the migrant goldcrests and fieldfares and buntings -and the seals, hundreds of them, returning to have their pups.

Across the bay, Fort Albert loomed on the headland and below, the cliffs were splashed with birdlime, sea-birds wheeling in great clouds, gulls, shags, razorbills and oyster-catchers.

We might find Little Auks up there, though — and razorbills — and thousands of guillemots on the cliffs.

For some time he contemplated the birds: a few razorbills and guillemots as well as the puffins - remarkably few gulls of any kind - the oyster-catchers' parents (he was confident of the chicks' well-being, having seen the neat shells from which they had hatched) - some rock-doves, and a small band of choughs.