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Bird name:


Fulmarus glacialis




Petrels and Shearwaters (Procellariidae)





Euring 5

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Breeding Location:

Cliffs, coastal, Rooftops

Breeding Type:

Monogamous, Colonial, Mates for life

Egg Colour:

Granular texture and white or cream coloured.

Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:

50 - 54

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Material:

Scrape may be lined with vegetation or pebbles.

Nest Location:

Rocky cliff, top of grassy ledges or on the ground.




Fulmar: Gull-like seabird with dark eye, short, thick neck, and rather stubby bill with short tube-like structure on top. Plumage varies from light grey above with white head and underparts to more uniform grey. White patch at base of primaries seen in gliding and flapping flight. Sexes similar. Black edging to undersides of primaries. Also has inconspicuous, thin, dark band on bill.

Range and Habitat

Fulmar: Resident breeder and winter visitor. Visible all year at some breeding grounds, although greater numbers can be seen during winter months. Usually returns in December. More common in coastal Scotland and the Northern Isles. Breeds on most UK sea cliffs. Otherwise flocks are found offshore.

Breeding and Nesting

Fulmar: Breeding mostly in large colonies in the high Arctic, with nests on cliffs and ledges, or on the ground. Nest is a scrape lined with vegetation or pebbles. They mature and breed late, beginning when 8-10 years old. Only one egg laid; both parents build nest, incubate egg and feed chick.

Foraging and Feeding

Fulmar: Eats fish, crustaceans, marine worms, squid, fish offal, and carrion. Snatches food at or just below the water surface; eats on the water.


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

Similar Species

Fulmar: Cory's Shearwater has a longer, thinner bill and is distinctly more brown overall and lacks the white head. Kittiwake is smaller, has lighter grey upperparts, black, not white wingtips, and a white, not grey tail.


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

The primaries are the flight feathers specialized for flight. They are attached to the "hand" equivalent part of the wing.
4 and 6 letter alpha codesX

The four letter common name alpha code is is derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name. The six letter species name alpha code is derived from the first three letters of the scientific name (genus) and the first three letters of the scientific name (species). See (1) below for the rules used to create the codes..

Four-letter (for English common names) and six-letter (for scientific names) species alpha codes were developed by Pyle and DeSante (2003, North American Bird-Bander 28:64-79) to reflect A.O.U. taxonomy and nomenclature (A.O.U. 1998) as modified by Supplements 42 (Auk 117:847-858, 2000) and 43 (Auk 119:897-906, 2002). The list has been updated by Pyle and DeSante to reflect changes reported by the A.O.U from 2003 through 2006.


The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) was established in the mid-1990 s as a cooperative project among several federal agencies to improve and expand upon taxonomic data (known as the NODC Taxonomic Code) maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To find the ITIS page for a bird species go to the ITIS web site advanced search and report page at You can enter the TSN or the common name of the bird. It will return the ITIS page for that bird. Another way to obtain the ITIS page is to use the Google search engine. Enter the string ITIS followed by the taxonomic ID, for example "ITIS 178041" will return the page for the Allen's Hummingbird.

Parts of a Standing birdX
Head Feathers and MarkingsX
Parts of a Flying birdX