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Author Topic: Puffin Burrow at Seal Island, Maine, USA 2019-20  (Read 6298 times)

PeepSpy

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Puffin Burrow at Seal Island, Maine, USA 2019-20
« on: June 14, 2019, 03:41:11 PM »

I am starting a thread for these cute little clowns!  :) The National Audubon Society has several views of the Puffins:
  • The Puffin Burrow (currently a nesting Puffin under the rocks)
  • The Puffin Burrow - External View
  • The Puffin Loafing Ledge

Established April 2013, it is "Located 21 miles off the coast of Maine on Seal Island, this live puffin cam gives an intimate glimpse inside a puffin burrow, where puffins nest and breed during the spring and summer months."

The breeding pair currently highlighted in the Puffin Burrow are Millie and Willie and Millie is sitting on one giant egg!

I have never seen a baby Puffin, so I am watching Millie and her egg! Hatch is due June 25!  :)

I will post some more pics later!  ;)

« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 12:36:33 PM by PeepSpy »
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PeepSpy

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Re: Puffin Burrow at Seal Island, Maine, USA
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2019, 04:00:51 PM »

Information about the Puffin Burrow from Audubon on the live cam site on Explore.com:
https://explore.org/livecams/national-audubon-society/puffin-burrow-cam

Welcome to Seal Island! Though this 65-acre island is a popular place for gray seals to have their pups, it is also home to many Atlantic puffins, sometimes called "sea parrots" because of their distinctive colorful beaks.

Where are these puffins?
Seal Island is a national wildlife refuge 21 miles off the coast of Maine where many species of nesting seabirds, including Atlantic puffins, come to nest. This live puffin cam overlooks the "loafing ledge," a prime spot for puffins to congregate, with plenty of "exit routes" in every direction in case a hawk or gull attacks.

Are puffins and penguins similar?
These seaworthy birds may look similar, and they both live in extremely cold environments, but they are actually found on opposite sides of the planet! Puffins are native to the northern hemisphere while penguins are found only in the southern hemisphere.

How big are puffins?
Puffins are approximately 10-12 inches long, and weigh slightly more than 1 pound.
Their black and white plumage is similar to penguins, but their colorful beaks--which can be red, blue or yellow--are reminiscent of a parrot. In the winter months, puffin beaks become a more dull, grayish color.

Do puffins fly?
Yes! By flapping their wings about 400 times a minute, they can reach speeds of 50 mph or more! Their strong, broad wings also make them superb swimmers. In fact, puffins spend most of their time at sea--flying, swimming, or resting on the ocean's surface--and only come ashore in spring to breed.

What do puffins eat?
Puffins will "forage" underwater for many different marine organisms, including small fish like herring, hake, capelin and sand lance. Incredibly, they can catch as many as 10-12 small fish in succession and bring them all back to the nest at once!
Though most of their foraging happens within 50 feet of the surface, puffins can dive to depths of 200 feet.

Are puffins endangered?
Puffins are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The puffins here at Seal Island were hunted heavily for their meat and feathers by local fisherman in the late 1800s, and by 1885, the original puffin colony was lost. Puffins did not begin to return on their own until Audubon launched a restoration program called Project Puffin in 1984. Today, about 500 puffin pairs breed at Seal Island each year, and Maine's total puffin population has increased from a single pair on nearby Matinicus Rock in 1901 to about 1,200 pairs on five Maine islands.
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PeepSpy

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Re: Puffin Burrow at Seal Island, Maine, USA
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2019, 04:05:58 PM »

More information.  :)

Every spring, Atlantic puffins come ashore to make nests and breed on rocky beaches and cliffs like the ones here at Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge. This puffin nest cam gives you a front row seat to puffin parents and babies 21 miles off the coast of Maine!

Do puffins breed in the same place every year?
Puffins will not only return to the same nesting spot after spending the winter and fall at sea, but they will often reunite with the same mate, year after year.

For their nesting sites, puffins dig cozy burrows in the dirt. Puffin burrows are between 3 and 7 feet long and include multiple chambers. Some puffins will go a different route, using feathers and grass to build nests in natural crevices or under rocks.

How many chicks do puffins have in a year?
Females generally lay a single egg that both the male and the female will incubate, often by tucking it between their wing and side, for 39-43 days. Once the chick hatches, it can move around the burrow itself within a day! Both parents will feed the baby puffin for the first 45 days. At Seal Island, most of the chicks will eat hake, Atlantic herring, and sand lance.

What's the best time to watch a feeding?
Feedings can happen at any time, but many occur between the hours of 6 and 10 am ET.

When do chicks leave the nest?
Puffin chicks fledge after about 45 days, heading off to sea at night, without their parents. Their body weight at fledging is a good indicator for their chance of survival; larger chicks with more fat reserves are more likely to adapt better to life at sea.
When chicks are two years old, they may return to the nesting island for the first time, though they won't actually start breeding themselves until they are about 5 years old. Interestingly, puffin couples will often have an engagement period of a year before they nest for the first time.

In the wild, puffins can live for 20 years or more!
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PeepSpy

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Re: Puffin Burrow at Seal Island, Maine, USA
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2019, 04:22:17 PM »

Here is our breeding pair and a view of the exterior. Then here is a couple of pics of the Loafing Ledge. Notice the numbers on the rocks in the Exterior View!  :)

Edit: I have just found out that the numbers refer to Puffin nests!  :)
« Last Edit: June 14, 2019, 04:52:58 PM by PeepSpy »
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PeepSpy

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Re: Puffin Burrow at Seal Island, Maine, USA
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2019, 04:41:50 PM »

The Audubon Web site can be found here: https://www.audubon.org/

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NationalAudubonSociety

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PeepSpy

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Re: Puffin Burrow at Seal Island, Maine, USA
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2019, 04:48:17 PM »

Audubon has another Web site dedicated to "Project Puffin" for the seabird restoration program:

http://projectpuffin.audubon.org/
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karengramke

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Re: Puffin Burrow at Seal Island, Maine, USA
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2019, 06:30:45 PM »

Wow Peeps, you have posted a pretty complete story here.   Thank you!

PeepSpy

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Re: Puffin Burrow at Seal Island, Maine, USA
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2019, 08:01:09 PM »

You're welcome, Karen!  :)

One of the commenters posted this pic of a baby from last year. That grey fluff is a baby Puffin!  :-* That big egg!  ;D
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PeepSpy

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Re: Puffin Burrow at Seal Island, Maine, USA
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2019, 08:18:42 AM »

Good morning, Millie!  :)

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PeepSpy

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Re: Puffin Burrow at Seal Island, Maine, USA
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2019, 01:51:23 PM »

Below is a baby Puffin from 2017 that was posted in comments! I can't wait for Millie's hatchling.

And a few more pics.
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PeepSpy

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Re: Puffin Burrow at Seal Island, Maine, USA
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2019, 07:32:32 PM »

Sundown at the Puffin Burrow! It is approximately 10 days away for Millie's egg to hatch!  :)
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PeepSpy

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Re: Puffin Burrow at Seal Island, Maine, USA
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2019, 10:37:05 AM »

Another beautiful day at the Puffin Burrow!  :)  Another day closer to Millie's egg hatching!

Razorbills are another seabird that are a little and intrusive at the burrow.

Some morning pics at Explore.com
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LORIDAVIS

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Re: Puffin Burrow at Seal Island, Maine, USA
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2019, 11:26:30 AM »

OMG PEEP soooo cute!!!  Never seen one before you posted in the beak!!!  8)
Lori Davis
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PeepSpy

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Re: Puffin Burrow at Seal Island, Maine, USA
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2019, 03:02:08 PM »

 :)  This article explains the reason for using the decoy, "Manny" on the Loafing Ledge (by the Happy Father's Day sign with a Puffin on tip of the sign):

http://projectpuffin.audubon.org/conservation/atlantic-puffin-courtship-behavior-and-decoys

https://www.youtube.com/embed/dMO6pruRius
« Last Edit: June 16, 2019, 03:10:43 PM by PeepSpy »
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PeepSpy

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Re: Puffin Burrow at Seal Island, Maine, USA
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2019, 03:05:01 PM »

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