In a rock crevice at Seal Island NWR, 18 miles to sea from Rockland, Maine, a pair of puffins have nested together for many years. Last year their attempt to raise a chick ended when puffin chick ‘Petey’ starved because the parents could only find over-sized butterfish that were too large for it to swallow. With good fortune, their new chick, named ‘Hope’ will receive an ample amount of white hake, herring and other small fish that it can successfully swallow. It will take about six weeks for Hope to grow to an age of independence and life at sea.
The puffin loafing ledge at Seal Island NWR is the place where puffins, razorbills and common murres spend time when not at sea or at their nests. Most of the birds on the loafing ledge are non-breeders, but sometimes older breeding birds will also spend time at the ledge. Here the puffins sleep, preen their feathers and engage in a variety of social behaviors. A decoy puffin and razorbill are fixed to the rock to encourage puffins to visit the rock where researchers can read their leg bands for population studies.
Miss the action? Watch this highlight of Hope’s hatching!
Photo Courtesy of ‘Freddy’ on Burrow cam