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Puffin Mama Finn and chick Joy

Puffin Contest: When Will Joy Say Goodbye?

Little puffling Joy hatched on July 1st and has entered the fledging period of her life, getting her juvenile feathers and showing signs that she may exit her burrow for a years-long journey at sea. Just when that farewell will be is anyone’s guess. And if YOU guess correctly, you could win a prize!

puffinbooklowresMake your best prediction on what date the puffin chick will leave the burrow in the comments section below for a chance to win the new book Project Puffin: The Improbable Quest to Bring a Beloved Seabird Back to Egg Rock by Project Puffin Founder and Director Stephen Kress. The first correct guess posted will win. You can purchase a copy as well from Project Puffin’s Online Store.

Dr. Kress shared his insight on what to expect in the next few days from Joy: “My calculations are that Joy entered her fledge-watch period on Sunday, August 9. The average fledge period is 38-44 days with 42 days being the average. She seems normal for weight and wing and plumage, so she will likely fall in this range of August 9-15 with August 12 being the most likely day. Of course she does not know anything about such statistics and will do what she will.

Behaviors that indicate that fledging is approaching include increased activity, especially at night: wing stretching, wing vibrating, pacing about the burrow. Some of this will happen outside, and she will go out and come back, usually at night, though sometimes by day. She has been doing some of this already, but viewers can expect to see more in the coming days.”

So good luck with your guesses, and keep watching the Puffin Burrow Cam to see Joy make her exit.

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