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Friday, June 29, 2012

A Puffin Reality Show

Move over Snooki and Jwoww. Atlantic Puffin seabirds now have their own reality show.

The National Audubon Society and Explore.org have set up two high definition cameras, and trained them on the hundreds of Atlantic Puffins and other seabirds on Seal Island, off the coast of Maine.

One camera focuses on the rocks and another is inside a Puffin burrow that’s home to a brand new chick, or Puffling. (Note: The chick is not always in the burrow.)

The live stream went up this week and offers round the clock insight into the lives of these threatened, yet magnificent seabirds.

Guest:


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  • Rarusnak

    Fun site, thanks for the coverage. Brings back great memories of sea kayaking with puffins in Kachemak Bay Alaska.

  • Maryosky

    I’m looking for a baby puffin in his burrough.

    • jryanhn

      Hi @Maryosky, The puffin chick is not always visible in the burrow, but you can see it right now (2:32 pm eastern Friday.) What you see is a larger puffin, and to one side is a furry little ball of fuzz — which is, we’re told, the chick. Happy viewing! -Jill Ryan, H&N

  • SuzanneNYC

    Thanks for this!  Some years ago, CBS Sunday (I think) did a segment on repopulating the islands off the coast of Main with Puffins that had been there originally but had been killed off (as was mentioned in the radio story). It was quite a complicated procedure — puffins only nest on the site where they were born but they leave and return so they had to get puffins to break that cycle in order to repopulate the islands.  Puffins are social and like to have other puffins around to feel comfortable nesting — so to achieve critical mass the biologists doing this planted “puppet” puffins around to make it seem to the “live” puffins being introduced that there were others — and they showed the live puffins congregating around the fake ones.  So they nested, had baby puffins, and the babies flew off as they were supposed to. Then the biologists had to wait 2 years to see if the “native born” baby puffins would return as adults to reestablish the colony.  The last part of the segment was the sight of puffins returning to their home base — a successful end to this valiant effort.  I wonder if this is that same colony years later. 

    • http://twitter.com/DeltaWillis Delta Willis

      Yes, indeed, that CBS Sunday Morning program was about Audubon’s Project Puffin which has taken decades to reach this healthy state, all thanks to Dr. Kress (interviewed for Here & Now) and his team in Maine. More at http://www.projectpuffin.org

  • Aliceb49

    Good sighting of the puffling lift his [her] head and move around and then fall back to sleep.  About 11:10pm July 15.

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