Rajan Parrikar Photo Blog

Hapless Chick

Fledgling in distress.

The Fulmars are a common species of seabirds found all over Iceland. They live and nest on the cliffs by the sea.

In the Fall, hundreds of fledglings find themselves in trouble during migration to the open ocean. To take flight the Fulmars need to throw themselves off a cliff edge. They have a great difficulty launching from level ground. Many chicks mistake the road for the water, others miscalculate and fall short. Disoriented, they become, er, sitting ducks for the Arctic Fox, or roadkill. Although not as common today, a local farmer feeling peckish may also fancy a free meal.

See the video below taken at the beach at Vík í Mýrdal. The Fulmars come with an inbuilt defense mechanism – projectile vomit of foul, sticky gunk – and one has to be careful not to get too close. Birds of prey are extremely wary of Fulmars as a splotch on their feathers can mean a death sentence.

Fulmar stranded on beach at Vík, Iceland

Stranded Fulmar – Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland
DJI Phantom 4 Pro v2


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