Mother Carey's chicken

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Mother Car·ey's chicken

A petrel, especially a storm-petrel.

[Possibly alteration and partial translation of Medieval Latin māter cāra, Virgin Mary : Latin māter, mother + Latin cāra, feminine of cārus, dear; see kā- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Mother Carey's chicken

(Animals) another name for storm petrel
[origin unknown]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

Moth′er Car′ey's chick′en

(ˈkɛər iz)
[1760–70; orig. uncertain]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Mother Carey's chicken - medium-sized storm petrelMother Carey's chicken - medium-sized storm petrel    
storm petrel - any of various small petrels having dark plumage with paler underparts
genus Oceanites, Oceanites - a genus of Hydrobatidae
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
For hours together we could watch the dolphins and porpoises as they rolled and leaped and dived around the vessel; or those small creatures ever on the wing, the Mother Carey's chickens, which had borne us company from New York bay, and for a whole fortnight fluttered about the vessel's stern.
Four or five Mother Carey's chickens stormed round in circles, shrieking as they swept past the bows.
A Underground B In trees C Inthesea D Intheair QUESTION 6 - for 6 points: Which birds are called Mother Carey's chickens by sailors?