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Booth Museum Bird of the Month, September 2020: Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis

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September highlights a member of the tubenose family.

UK conservation status: Amber

Fulmars are not gulls; they are part of the tubenose family (which includes albatrosses). The tube on top of their beak is used to discharge excess salt. Salt accumulates from swallowing seawater when they catch fish, shrimp and squid. Fulmars are also known to eject a foul liquid from their stomachs if they feel threatened. 

Fulmars spend most of their time offshore, only coming to land when breeding. They use cliffs for their nest sites. They are most commonly found along the coasts of Scotland and Northeast England. Fulmars are also present in East Sussex, but are less common here. You may catch a glimpse of one of them on the Undercliff walk.

Kerrie Curzon, Collections Assistant