Puffin videos: A puffling sees the world for the first time, and a tourist befriends a puffin

In line with Bruce Lyons’s post this morning on puffins, I’ll put up two Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) videos. In the first one, a fluffy “puffling”, or young puffin—the second bird extracted from the burrow—encounters the world for the first time. I think this is on the UK’s Farallon Islands, though I can’t quite make out the name.  I was interested to see that these birds can live 30-35 years in the wild.

Fortunately, nobody got bit on the nose here.

 

And a tourist befriends a puffin:

 

10 Comments

  1. David Harper
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    “I think this is on the UK’s Farallon Islands, though I can’t quite make out the name.”

    It’s the Farne Islands, off the coast of Northumbria in the north-east of England.

  2. DW
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    No bird should be that cute. Puffins are up to something.

  3. Posted July 28, 2019 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Fascinating…

    In case anyone hasn’t seen Bruce Lyon’s photos, get on down there! Absolutely stunning!

    https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2019/07/28/readers-wildlife-photos-849/

    (Wrong link BTW in the post- goes to Nancy Pelosi instead of the puffins!)

  4. phoffman56
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Though never in our Canada, we did see a lot in early May very close up, in Iceland on Latrebjarg cliff, farthest west of populated places and highest of sea cliffs of Europe. It sure seemed to a human to be a cold winter, as indicated in the first sentence of the following wiki on Atlantic Puffins:

    “Spending the autumn and winter in the open ocean of the cold northern seas, the Atlantic puffin returns to coastal areas at the start of the breeding season in late spring. It nests in clifftop colonies, digging a burrow in which a single white egg is laid. The chick mostly feeds on whole fish and grows rapidly. After about 6 weeks, it is fully fledged and makes its way at night to the sea. It swims away from the shore and does not return to land for several years.”

    But the last sentence, new to me, sounds even more ‘inhuman’ for the chicks. I like winter and long ski races, but it’s hard to imagine the middle of the North Atlantic all winter and more.

    I think of puffins in a way as being the northern hemisphere version of penguins, despite the former being fliers. And the ‘March of the Penguins’ movie shows a much chillier winter for the male Emperor Penguin.

    • John Conoboy
      Posted July 28, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      We got to see puffins in Ireland in April near the Blasket Islands. They had just returned and were in the water, but apparently not nesting yet. I always thought they were bigger birds than they were. They are very cute.

  5. rickflick
    Posted July 29, 2019 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    It gives me a great sense of comfort to know the colony is 80 thousand strong. Quite a strong species.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted July 30, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Quite a strong species.

      North Atlantic puffins have quite variable numbers, which do give the twitchers grounds for concerns. One significant factor seems to be the population of sand eels (ohhh, look, the Wiki page headlines a puffin with a bill full of sand eels. QED!), but they’re being increasingly targetted by industrial fishing for making fish meal for animal feed. When it comes to a competition for food between wildlife and industrial fishing, the lookout for the wildlife isn’t good.
      In general, the twitchers are quite worried about the impact of industrial fishing on seabirds.

      • rickflick
        Posted July 30, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        I read somewhere the oceans will be fished out in about 40 years. The seabirds are in for a drubbing, but humans will have to do without, tuna salad, Filet-O-Fish sandwiches, and sushi.


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