Northern fulmars eat fish, squid, and large zooplankton such as amphipods (Thysanoessa, Hyperia, Gammarus, and Themisto species). They are opportunistic feeders and also take discarded fish and carrion, such as whale, walrus, and seal blubber. They eat a wide variety of prey, but seem to prefer fish with high fat content. They drink seawater. They capture prey mainly at the surface, but will occasionally dive as well. Northern fulmars often accompany fishing fleets, forming large aggregations to take advantage of fish waste. They are one of the few bird species with a well-developed sense of smell and are thought to use olfaction to detect prey. They tend to forage at marine upwellings that cause temporary concentrations of large zooplankton, including areas near ice sheets or upwelling associated with feeding gray whales (Eschrictius robustus) or trawling operations. Northern fulmars travel widely in search of food. During the breeding season individual leave the colony on foraging trips of 4 to 5 days that may take them up to 460 km from the colony, although most foraging is within 100 km of the colony.
Animal Foods: fish; carrion ; mollusks; aquatic crustaceans; cnidarians; zooplankton
Primary Diet: carnivore (Piscivore , Eats non-insect arthropods, Molluscivore , Scavenger )