Wild Harris

Fulmar

Fulmar 1 CReddick.jpgFulmar    (Photo: Cliff Reddick)

Until 1878 St Kilda was the only place that fulmars used to breed. Then they started to spread around the coast of Scotland and now they are found almost all around the coast of Britain.

Fulmar 2 CReddick.jpgFulmar    (Photo: Cliff Reddick)

Fulmars belong to a group of birds called tube noses. This is because they have a special part of their nostrils that they use to get rid of salt when they spend a long time out at sea. Albatross and Petrels are also 'tube noses'.

Fulmar 3 CReddick.jpgFulmar    (Photo: Cliff Reddick)

They are a true seabird, flying out many miles to sea, and gliding over the waves in all weathers. They only flap their wings very occasionally.

Fulmar 4 CReddick.jpgFulmar    (Photo: Cliff Reddick)

They spend the winter at sea, but return in January to the breeding cliffs. They can be aggressive with their neighbours, as each pair establishes a nest on the seacliffs. If any human approaches, they will defend their nests by squirting the contents of their stomachs at them – most people, or other potential predators, will be quickly put off by having a foul fishy liquid squirted all over them!

by Alison Tyler