Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
PROCELLARIA PACIFICA, Aud.
Three skins transmitted to me by Mr. TOWNSEND appear to belong to two
species of the Fulmar genus, distinct from that of the Atlantic seas. The first
of these species I have named as above. An adult individual resembles the
common Procellaria glacialis in form, proportions, and colour, but differs in
having the bill much smaller, more compressed, with the angle of the lower
mandible narrower, and the tips of both very much inferior in strength. It is
about the same size as the species just mentioned, and shews no remarkable
difference in the wings or tail. Besides being more compressed, its bill
presents a character, which, if universal, is perfectly distinctive; the upper
outline of the united nasal tubes is concave in the Atlantic Fulmar, and its
ridge flattened; whereas the outline of these tubes is is straight in the
Pacific species, and its ridge distinctly carinate.
PACIFIC FULMAR, Procellaria pacifica, Aud. Orn. Biog., vol. v. p. 331.
Adult, 18; wing, 12 3/4; tail, 4 3/4; bill, 1 3/4.
North-west coast of America. Abundant.
Bill shorter than the head, robust, straight, compressed, the tip curved.
Upper mandible with the nostrils on the ridge, separated by a thin septum,
covered by an elevated horny case, and opening directly forwards, the sides
erect, convex, and separated by a groove from the nasal plate, as well as from
the unguis, which is strong, decurved, and acute, the edges sharp, inflected,
and slightly recurved from the base to the unguis. Lower mandible with the
angle long, narrow, acute, the sides erect with a groove in their whole length,
the edges sharp and direct, the very short dorsal line ascending and slightly
concave, the edges decurved at the end.
Head rather large, ovate; neck rather short. Feet of moderate length,
stout; tibia bare for a short space below; tarsus is a little compressed,
covered all round with reticular scales, of which those on the anterior and
posterior thin ridges are much smaller. Hind toe a slight prominence, with a
conical rather obtuse claw; the fore toes long, slender, scutellate above,
connected by striated entire webs, the fourth a little longer than the third,
the second or inner not much shorter. Claws rather small, slightly arched,
compressed, acute, that of the third toe with an inner thin edge. Plumage full,
close, elastic, blended; on the back and wings the feathers rather distinct.
Wings long; primary quills rather broad, tapering to a roundish point having a
minute acumen, the first four-twelfths longer than the second, which exceeds the
third by half an inch; secondary quills broad and rounded. Tail short, rounded,
of fourteen rounded feathers, of which the lateral are one inch shorter than the
middle; the lower tail-coverts very strong and of the same length as the
Bill and feet yellow. The head, neck, and lower parts are pure white; the
back and wings light greyish-blue, but most of the feathers, including those of
the tail, becoming dark grey toward the end; the primary quills and their
coverts are blackish-brown, tinged with grey.
Length to end of tail 18 inches; bill along the ridge 1 9/12; nasal case
(6 1/2)/12; wing from flexure 12 9/12; tail 4 3/4; tarsus 1 11/12; hind toe
9/12, its claw 3/12; second toe 1 10/12, its claw (5 1/2)/12; third toe 2 2/12,
its claw 7/12; fourth toe 2 1/4, its claw (4 1/2)/12.
The young bird is of a uniform dull light dusky-grey colour; a patch before
the eye and the primary quills dusky. Its bill and feet are also yellow; the
former as in the adult; the outline of its nasal case straight, its ridge
Length to end of tail 19 1/2 inches; bill along the ridge 1 10/12; nasal
case (7 1/2)/12; wing from flexure 12 9/12; tail 4 9/12.