Atlantic Puffins Thriving on Remote Nesting Islands Off Maine
August 22, 2019
Good news for Puffins! Let’s hope that concerted efforts to battle global warming will lead to more good years.
Read this article from PressHerald.com!
“One of the most beloved birds in Maine is having one of its most productive seasons in years for mating pairs on remote islands off the state’s coast.
Atlantic puffins, with their colorful beaks and waddling walks, are one of New England’s best-recognized seabirds. Maine is the only state in the U.S. where the birds breed, and they do so on hard-to-reach places such as Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge in the Gulf of Maine.
The birds are well on their way to setting a record for the number of breeding pairs, said National Audubon Society scientist Dr. Stephen Kress, who has studied the birds for years. Kress said nearly 750 pairs nested on Seal Island and Eastern Egg Rock in 2018, and this year’s number will likely be higher.
The birds are thriving because of multiple factors, including an abundance of the type of fish they’re best suited to eat, such as young haddock and hake and herring. In some previous years, the birds have suffered because those fish were less available, replaced by fish that are more difficult for them to digest. The appearance of the more ideal fish could have to do with the Gulf of Maine running somewhat cool recently.”
Article by BY PATRICK WHITTLE ASSOCIATED PRESS. Continue reading on PressHerald.com.