Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tufted Puffin Sighting!

Photo Credit: Ram Papish

The Tufted Puffins have returned from wintering in the open ocean! Yesterday, April 2nd, three puffins were spotted flying around Haystack Rock and today one solo puffin was seen flying. This is just the beginning of their return. We should be seeing more and more everyday in April.  Last year, our breeding colony totaled 143 individual birds. This was the greatest number of puffins sighted at Haystack Rock since USFW started surveying in 2010. I can not wait to see how many return to breed this nesting season! 
Tufted Puffins are seabirds in the Auklet family. Their bright orange beaks and long toenails help them dig their nesting burrows on the Northside of Haystack Rock. Life-long puffin pairs will lay one egg each nesting season. July is the best time to see puffins at Haystack Rock because parents are actively feeding their hungry chicks in their burrows. By the end of August, most chicks and their parents have returned to the open ocean.
Keep checking back for more updates! I've fallen a little behind - it's been a busy week for HRAP - but will be posting more soon!

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