Excerpt from The Avicultural Magazine, Vol. 10: Being the Journal of the Avicultural Society for the Study of Foreign and British Birds in Freedom and Captivity; Nov. 1918 to Dec. 1919
There is little to entertain the mind and please the eye of the ornithologist whose lot is ... cast during the winter months upon the stormy sea, in the harsh weather of the northern portions of the British Isles, and on the ocean which stretches thence towards the inhospitable Polar regions. Such a one must always feel grateful to the Fulmar Petrel - almost invariably his companion, no matter how vile the weather or how far away from land he may find himself.
It is under the most unpleasant and arduous conditions of wind and weather that this wonderful wanderer is to be seen to the greatest advantage. Its untiring energy, its matchless strength and skill in flight, and the perfect grace of its aerial evolutions can hardly fail to excite admiration long after they have become the commonest subjects of daily observation. It is impossible to sail from any harbour in the Orkneys or Shetlands without some of these birds following in the vessel's wake. The number varies very much, and is greater, as a rule, in the winter than during the summer months, because, of course, in the latter season a considerable proportion of the species resorts to its breeding haunts.
The Fulmar apparently does, to some extent, feed on garbage food thrown overboard from ships, for an individual of this species, or perhaps a small party, may be seen to settle on the often very stormy water in the ship's wake, when the cook has emptied the contents of the shoot. Compared, however, with the Gulls the Petrels are very abstemious, and the noisy, greedy parties of ravenous birds do not include many of the latter at any time - at least such has been the writer's experience. It is far from easy when watching a Fulmar to observe the bird in the act of ¿apping its wings.
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