• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Southern Fulmar - BirdForum Opus

Alternative Names: Antarctic Fulmar; Silver-grey Fulmar

Fulmarus glacialoides
Photo by Fritz73


Length 45-51cm, Wingspan 102-112cm.
A superficially gull-like petrel but distinguished by stiff-winged flight. Immatures resemble adults. Back, wings and rump light bluish-grey, upperwings with darker primaries and trailing edge to inner wing, and white bases to primaries forming a pale wing-patch, tail blue-grey. Head white with dark lores and underparts white with pale grey on flanks. Iris brown, bill pinkish with bluish-grey tube, dark tip and yellowish subterminal band, legs pinkish-blue. Some birds show darker and more contrasting wings. Flight: characteristic flight with stiff-winged glides interspersed with rigid wingbeats.

Similar Species

  • Very similar to Northern Fulmar but range does not overlap.
  • Unlikely to be confused with any other species within range, closest is perhaps much darker White-headed Petrel.


Southern Oceans breeding on the Antarctic Peninsula and elsewhere in Antarctica, on the South Shetland, South Orkney and South Sandwich Islands, South Georgia, and on Bouvet and Peter Islands. Disperses after breeding to occur north to about 400S but further north on the west coast of South America to about 100S. Occurs in variable numbers in South Africa, mainly July to January, peaking in September but suffers from wrecks in some years. A rare visitor in the southern winter to southern Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand.



Breeds colonially on cliffs on islands and remote shores during October to April, otherwise at sea. Does not follow ships but attracted to fishing vessels. Gregarious at sea and often associates with Cape Petrel and Snow Petrel.


Breeds in the southern summer, October-March, egg laid late November-early December on a bare rock ledge or with small amount of vegetation in a slight depression in softer substrate. Single dull white egg (74 x 50) incubated by both sexes for 55-57 days. Diet: Squid and fish, also offal from fishing and whaling vessels. Voice: Harsh guttural cackling when quarrelling for food.

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1