Posted by: orcaweb | July 27, 2009

Introducing the fulmar

Beth – King of Scandinavia

Recently I wrote about the guillemots and have noticed that the gannets have their own feature, therefore I have decided that it is about time the fulmars got a blog all to themselves too.

The gracefulness of this bird makes it easy to identify, even for the novice birdwatcher.  Look for the white flashes on the primary feathers, a white head and grey tail.

The gracefulness of this bird makes it easy to identify, even for the novice birdwatcher. Look for the white flashes on the primary feathers, a white head and grey tail.

Their colouration often gets them mistaken for gulls at a distance but it is their grace that stands them apart.  They are such balletic birds sweeping close over the ocean surface, undulating with the waves without ever seeming to get even a wing tip wet.

They, like the albatross, are part of the tubenose family.  Like their larger cousins they spend so much time over the open ocean that they drink the seawater.  Too much salt isn’t good for anyone, man or animal, and using their tubenoses (which are actually elongated nostrils) they excrete the excess salt.

We see fulmars on nearly every trip; so if you would also like to see this elegant bird then come and join us on the King of Scandinavia.

The fulmar may look a bit like a gull but in this shot you can easily see the tubenose on top of the beak. Photo courtesy of HJ & M Luiten.

The fulmar may look a bit like a gull but in this shot you can easily see the tubenose on top of the beak. Photo courtesy of HJ & M Luiten.

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