As late as 1878 Fulmars were known to breed
on St Kilda, but since then they have spread almost around the coast of
Britain, (except in the south east where there are few suitable sites),
and along the south coast. They are powerful and graceful seabirds, seldom
coming to land except to breed and are the most widespread of the British
petrels. They are easy to recognise
with their stiff winged flight interspersed with an occasional quick flapping.
The Fulmar's gracefulness dissappears when it reaches land. It often needs
several attempts to settle on a cliff and, once there, shuffles about
The plumage is white with a grey mantle
and tail and no black. The bill is thick with a tube on top. Both sexes
are similar. There are what is known as the "Light Morph"and
the "Grey Morph", pictured above is the grey morph,and below
the light morph. The Fulmar's plumage is impregnated with oil which has
a strong musky smell. Disturb them when they are breeding and they will
vomit a foul smelling oily substance from their beak.
grow to 18 inches long with a wingspan of 42 inches.
The ocean and at breeding time the cliffs.
is usually no nesting material, the egg is laid straight onto the rocky
have one clutch per year which consists of a single white egg which has
a rough surface and is easily stained by damp.