Thursday, February 25, 2016

Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis) - 20Feb2016

Although Northern Fulmars look superficially like gulls, they are members of the Family Procellariidae which includes petrels and shearwaters and this is evident when you see them fly.

Depending on the view they can look kind of piggish.

Or in this case graceful.  This one is a "Blue" morph.

They have a pretty disgusting habit of vomiting a sticky stomach oil on any would be predators which can adhere to feathers and be potentially fatal.  Check out this one's tube nose.  They use there tube nose to hone in on their prey, in this case a chum slick.  They also have a pretty cool adaptation of a salt gland that helps desalinate there bodies as they are fond of chugging sea water.

These photos were all taken off the coast of NC on a Brian Patteson pelagic out of Hatteras.

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