Conservation Status: IUCN Least Concern
Description: Northern Fulmars look quite similar to gulls but have a distinct tube structure on the top of their bills. The tube might make the bill look like it’s broken, but it’s not! This structure helps them expel excess salt from drinking seawater. Northern Fulmars range from all white to dark gray and everything in between.
Play Northern Fulmar call:
Where to find them: Northern Fulmars are found in open, cold-water oceans across the Northern Hemisphere. They typically won’t be seen from land other than at their breeding colonies.
- Northern Fulmars come in different color morphs, from white to dark gray.
- These birds have an infamous defense mechanism where they regurgitate a foul-smelling, oily substance onto predators (and sometimes unlucky rehabilitation technicians).
- Our wildlife centers see influxes of these birds from time to time, and their arrival is typically indicative of something larger going on in the environment.
Threats: Commercial fishing, plastic ingestion, warming water temperatures
How YOU can Help:
Keep an eye out for fulmars in trouble! These aren’t birds you would typically see at the beach, so if you find one sitting on the shore, call animal control or your local rehabilitation organization. Reduce your use of single-use plastics. Choose sustainably sourced seafood (visit Seafood Watch for more information)
Audio clip from www.xeno-canto.com Recorded by Bram Vogels XC733518
Additional photography courtesy of Patrick Sysiong