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Help develop a Bird ID tool!

Northern Fulmar

Fulmarus glacialis ORDER: PROCELLARIIFORMES FAMILY: PROCELLARIIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A gull-like relative of albatrosses and shearwaters, the Northern Fulmar is a bird of the northern oceans. It breeds in a few dozen scattered locations off Alaska and Canada, but is more abundant and widespread elsewhere in the northern hemisphere, especially in the northeast Atlantic.

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Appearance

Gull-like
Gull-like
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Medium-sized seabird; gull-sized.
  • Shaped like a gull, glides like a shearwater.
  • Moderately long, rounded wings.
  • Short, stout, pale bill.
  • Short, rounded tail.
  • Small dark patch in front of eye.
  • Morphs vary from white to dark gray.
  • Lighter morph whitish or light-gray on back and upper wings, with white head and neck.
  • Darker morph uniformly gray.

Immature Description

Similar to adult.

Range Map Help

Northern Fulmar Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Field MarksHelp

  • Adult light morph

    Northern Fulmar

    Adult light morph
    • © 2004 Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Pribilof Islands, Alaska, July 2000
  • Adult with nestling

    Northern Fulmar

    Adult with nestling
    • © S.A. Hatch, Semidi Island, Alaska, August 2000

Similar Species

  • Gulls similar to lighter morph, but have less stiff wing beats, do not glide as much, and do not remain as closely tied to the water's surface.
  • Pink-footed and Flesh-footed shearwaters look like dark morph, but have thinner necks, less rounded heads, and more pointed wingtips.