Northern Fulmar

Fulmarus glacialis

Order

PROCELLARIIFORMES

Family

Petrels and Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Code 4

NOFU

Code 6

FULGLA

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Northern Fulmar has a large range, estimated globally at 50,000 to 100,000 square kilometers. Native to Europe and Asia as well as the United States and Mexico, this bird prefers neritic, oceanic, and coastal marine ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at over 20,000,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Northern Fulmar is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Northern Fulmar Light Morph: This large gull-like bird has gray upperparts and white underparts, head, neck, and tail. Dark morph has uniformly dark gray body and paler primaries. It has a short, thick yellow bill with a tube on top. Feeds mainly on fish, squid and zoo plankton. Flight alternates stiff wing beats with periods of gliding and banking. Sexes are similar.

 

Range and Habitat

Northern Fulmar: Breeds in the Aleutians and on coasts and islands of Alaska and Canadian Arctic. Spends winters at sea, in the Pacific Ocean south to California and the Baja Peninsula and in the Atlantic Ocean south to North Carolina; also found in northern Eurasia. Pelagic, only coming ashore to breed.

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Northern Fulmar SONGS AND CALLS

Northern Fulmar E1

Cackling calls from a colony.

Northern Fulmar E3

"Aark-aaww" braying calls.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

Generally silent

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Most do not breed until they are at least 8 to 10 years old; one study found an individual that started breeding at age 20.
  • Nesting birds and chicks can eject an evil smelling stomach oil up to 6 feet, which repels unwanted visitors. It will matt the plumage of avian predators, and can lead to their death.
  • The Northern Fulmar is one of the longest-lived birds. In Scotland, several were banded as adults in 1951 and were still breeding in 1990, at ages likely greater than 50 years.
  • Two prehistoric species have been described from fossil bones found on the Pacific coast of California.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

RANGE MAP HAWAII

About this Hawaii Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Hawaiian island.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Chris Vest

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
PrimariesX
The primaries are the flight feathers specialized for flight. They are attached to the "hand" equivalent part of the wing.
PelagicX
The pelagic is a type of bird whose habitat is on the open ocean rather than in a coastal region or on inland bodies of water (lakes, rivers). An example of a pelagic bird is the blacklegged kittiwake.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X