Friday 4th September comments: Over the last few weeks we’ve seen the majority of our Fulmar chicks finally depart the island as the youngsters take to the wing for the first time. These chicks have been cliff-bound since hatching in early July and they are now taking to the air for the first time (could you imagine how that must feel?)
Unlike many seabirds, adult Fulmar’s just leave their chicks to fend for themselves whilst they are out foraging at sea as they know the defensive mechanism of spitting oily fishy substance at any potential predator will keep the chicks safe from harm. However when the adults return the chick begs for food and is soon given a good meal. Adult Fulmar’s will exchange food by regurgitating the food it has caught and eaten and will feed it to the chick (as you can see from the above photos).
Fulmar’s will feed on a variety of prey from fish offal, whale meat, crustaceans and even jelly fish which also makes them vulnerable to eating plastics including bags and balloons. Fulmars are very long living birds (40+ years) and will only start breeding at the age of eight. The island population stands at just over 300 but hopefuly over time this will continue to increase.