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Northern Fulmar Identification

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The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    Looks superficially like a gull. A heavyset, medium-sized seabird with a short neck, stout body, large head, and long wings. The bill is stout and hooked, with two nasal tubes on the top edge.

    Relative Size

    Larger than a Ring-billed Gull, smaller than a Herring Gull.

    Relative Sizecrow sizedcrow-sized

    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 15.3-19.7 in (39-50 cm)
      • Weight: 15.9-35.3 oz (450-1000 g)
      • Wingspan: 39.4-44.1 in (100-112 cm)

Regional Differences

Ornithologists recognize two or three subspecies, the small, short- and thick-billed glacialis of the Arctic Ocean, in which the darker morphs predominate; the large-billed auduboni of the Atlantic, in which there are no dark morphs; and the slender-billed rodgersii of the Pacific, which is intermediate in size and has a great variety of color morphs.