Fulmars are fantastic birds! They are related to the albatrosses and are part of the "tube-nose" family.  They having a soaring flight gliding low over the waves with stiff wing beats, making them unmistakable. 

To protect their breeding sites they spit a foul-smelling oil at intruders to warn them away; bird surveyors who have got too close recount stories of having to throw clothes away which have been spat on, as they smell never leaves!

They feed on a diet of sand eels, fish waste and crustaceans and have a life at sea except when breeding on cliffs.

In Scilly the main cliff-side sub-colobies are on Menawethan and at Daymark, St Martin's with numbers of breeding pairs being fairly consistent over the last 10 years.  However the fledging success has been quite variable and in the last few years it has been consistently lower than the level needed to sustain the population and explains the lack of growth in the population across Scilly.


With thanks for the use of Fulmar Image © Ed Marshall