One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A gull-sized gray and white seabird of the petrel family, with a stocky body and tubular nostrils.
Genus Fulmarus, family Procellariidae: two species, in particular the northern fulmar (F. glacialis) of the arctic
- ‘Adélie penguins, Cape petrels, southern fulmars, and six other species were observed for the study.’
- ‘Researchers are not concerned that the species is in trouble as fulmars are one of the world's most numerous seabirds.’
- ‘St Kilda is home to the world's largest colony of gannets and the largest colonies of fulmars and puffins in Britain.’
- ‘In spring and summer these become home to thousands of sea birds like guillemots, razorbills, puffins, fulmars and kittiwakes.’
- ‘The razorbill, fulmar, guillemot, kittiwake, chough and short-eared owl will all make your acquaintance on this magical island.’
- ‘In coastal areas, for example, puffins, rock doves, fulmars and guillemots are the most favoured items of diet.’
- ‘Hundreds of gulls, cormorants and fulmars nest in the cliffs and in burrows on cliff-edges.’
- ‘The eggs of the fulmar are large, white and beautiful.’
- ‘Then we reach the high black cliffs where a colony of fulmars glides; one of them follows us, flapping its wings for a spell, then gliding towards the sea, then rising again.’
- ‘There's always the chance of a minke whale, too, while terns, fulmars, guillemots, puffins and shearwaters come as standard.’
- ‘Carried by the gentle swell, the boat sails to the foot of cathedrals of black rock - like some kind of nautical Macchu Picchu - teeming with fulmars, kittiwakes and puffins.’
- ‘These steep pinnacles are now part of the RSPB bird sanctuary populated by the largest Arctic tern colony in north-west Europe, and home to numerous puffins, kittiwakes, shags and fulmars.’
- ‘Great skuas, gannets, fulmars, blackheaded gulls and a few guillemots played like children.’
- ‘You may see stiff-winged fulmars gliding effortlessly, or hear them cackling as they sit precariously on ledges incubating single eggs.’
- ‘Gannets, fulmars and kittiwakes all constitute a hazard to a frisky live-bait, as do blue sharks.’
- ‘Bempton is the largest seabird colony in England and is home to a breathtaking array of gannets, guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes, fulmars - and puffins.’
- ‘Arctic terns, arctic skuas, guillemots, kittiewakes and fulmars are all suffering, with numbers drastically down, while all the large arctic tern colonies in the North Isles have already failed.’
- ‘When nesting on a rock ledge, the fulmars do not build a nest, but when they nest on a bank or slope, they make a shallow scrape, occasionally lined with small stones.’
- ‘The sun-warmed sound of a skylark pours out of a hazy blue sky, contrasting oddly with the wild, skirling squawks of the kittiwakes and fulmars swooping and wheeling below the cliffs.’
- ‘Pinions outstretched, half hopping and half flying, the fulmar leaped and clambered over the rocks until it reached a nearly level space of smooth stone, some two lengths in breath and width.’
Late 17th century: from Hebridean Norn dialect, from Old Norse fúll ‘stinking, foul’ (because of its habit of regurgitating its stomach contents when disturbed) + már ‘gull’.
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