Northern Fulmar

Fulmarus glacialis




Petrels and Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White, nest stained with red markings.

Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:

52 - 53

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On ground.

Nest Material:

Lined with pebbles.





Northern Fulmar: The light morph has gray upperparts and white underparts, head, neck and tail. There is a black mark next to the side of the eye. The dark morph has a uniformly dark gray body and paler primaries. Intermediates of all shades exist. Bill is short, thick and yellow with a tube on top. Iris is very dark. Legs are gray, usually with pink soles. Sexes are similar; female is smaller, particularly the bill. Juvenile is similar to adult. Races vary by length and thickness of bill and color morphs.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

Northern Fulmar Light Morph: These birds are monogamous and rejoin their mates each year at the same nesting site for breeding. One red marked white egg is laid in a slight ground depression, sometimes lined with pebbles. Incubation ranges from 52 to 53 days and is carried out by both parents. The young fledge at 49 to 58 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Northern Fulmar Light Morph: These fulmars are omnivores. Their diet includes fish, squid, offal, carrion, marine worms, amphipods, copepods and other crustaceans. They obtain food by dipping, surface-seizing, surface-plunging, pursuit-diving and scavenging; they eat on the water. They are apparently unable to pick up prey while on the wing.


Northern Fulmar: Gives chuckling and grunting notes when feeding. On breeding grounds gives a variety of guttural calls.

Similar Species

Northern Fulmar Light Morph: Gulls have more slender necks, thinner bills without nasal tubes, and deep, steady, flapping wing beats.


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

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The primaries are the flight feathers specialized for flight. They are attached to the "hand" equivalent part of the wing.
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