Northern Fulmar

General description.

The Northern Fulmar, also known as the "Giant Petrel", can be pale gray on its back and wings and overwhelming white elsewhere, or completely white or brown and every other color in between. It has a yellow bill, and the tube enclosed nostrils excrete excess salt water. However, this oceanic bird will rarely be seen from any shoreline.

Flight pattern.

This bird can be distinguished from the seagull by its flight pattern of several fast wing beats, followed by a stiff-winged glide.

Breeding habits.

The fulmar breeds on Arctic coasts and islands.

Calls or song.

When feeding the Northern Fulmar will emit chuckling noises, and at the nest a cackling "aaark". Yet again it 'mews' when frightened.

Population and distribution.

The Northern Fulmar winters at sea south to Southern California and North Carolina. During the period of whaling and offshore fishing when offal and other refuse was thrown overboard, this scavenger's numbers continued to increase. However, due to mechanized processing the Northern Fulmar population is on the decrease.

Nesting habits.

One white egg laid on bare rock or a shallow depression, lined with plant matter.
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