Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis   [Linnaeus, 1761]

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Order: Procellariiformes Family: Procellariidae
BTO Codes: F., FULMA EURING No: 220
Number in Britain: 500 thousand Pairs (Summer)
Conservation Status:
European: Not a species of concern
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Migrant/Resident Breeder, Passage Visitor
Subspecies: glacialis recorded in Britain (of 3 subsp. in the world)
Length: 48 cm Wingspan: 107 cm Weight: M: 880 g   F: 730 g    
Scientific name from: ON: fulmar=foul gull and L.: glacialis=icy
World Distribution: BREEDS: n Eurasia & n North America, WINTERS: south to w Europe, Japan and s US
Habitat: Pelagic, breeds on seacliffs and rocky islands
Diet: Crustaceans, squid, fish, offal, carrion mostly from surface
TitBit: Found only on St Kilda until the 1900s, the islanders harvested them for a wide range of uses; fulmar oil (vomited over those who disturb the nest) was prized for its supposed medicinal properties.  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: JNCC Seabird Monitoring Programme
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore   
British Population Size:
    Summer: 500 thousand Pairs in
    First Record: St Kilda, 1697
    First Breeding Record: Shetland (first outside St Kilda) 1878
    Latest Survey: Mitchell, P.I. et al. (2004) Seabird populations of Britain and Ireland Poyser, London
    Conservation Status: AMBER because Recent Breeding Population Decline (1981-2007), Localised Breeding Population,
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 AMBER     1996-2001 GREEN  
   Races of Concern: glacialis AMBER (Recent Decline)
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    No habitat data from BBS
Migration routes: Map of foreign ringing recoveries  and summary map from Time to Fly (in pop-up windows)
European Population Size:
    Summer: 2.8 to 4.4 million pairs
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: Bern(III)
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack
Summary text from Seabird 2000 (warning: link to large pdf)

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 74 x 51 mm Egg Weight: 98.0 g (of which 8 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 284
Clutch Size: 1 eggs
Incubation: 52- 53 days   by the: Male + Female
Fledging: 46 - 51days as: -
First Clutches Laid: Unavailable
Number of Broods: 1
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.972       
Juvenile Survival: No data
Age at First Breeding: 9 years Typical Lifespan: 44 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 40 years 10 months 16 days (set in 1992)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: F
Wing Length Adult: 331.7 ± 13.5 Range 312 - 350 mm, N =351
Juvenile: Insufficient Data
Male: 339.5 ± 10.5 320 - 357 mm, N =72
Female: 330.1 ± 7.9 319 - 342 mm, N =37
Weight Adult: 772.4 ± 126.2 Range 595.0 - 970.0 g , N =197
Juvenile: Insufficient Data
Male: Insufficient Data
Female: Insufficient Data
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Northern Fulmar
Gaelic: Eun-crom Welsh: Aderyn-Drycin y Graig
Danish: Mallemuk Dutch: Noordse stormvogel
Finnish: Myrskylintu French: Pétrel fulmar
German: Eissturmvogel Hungarian: Sirhályhojsza
Icelandic: Fýll Irish: Fulmaire
Italian: Fulmaro Norwegian: Havhest
Polish: Fulmar Portuguese: Fulmar-glacial
Spanish: Fulmar Swedish: Stormfĺgel

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Fisher, J. 1984 The fulmar Collins, London [598.445 FIS]
   Brooke, M. de L. 2004 Albatrosses and petrels across the world Oxford University Press, Oxford [598.44 BRO]
See Also:
Find scientific papers on Google Scholar or Scirus by clicking the icon
Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides
All About Birds (from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology)