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Puffins are Ready for Father’s Day- Are You?

Puffin gifts for dads 

Puffins are great dads! Each parent takes equal turns incubating and feeding a single chick, safely tucked in an underground burrow. This Father’s Day, consider helping puffins while thanking a favorite Dad by adopting a research puffin. Your contribution is tax-deductible, and all proceeds support Audubon’s seabird interns living on Maine islands, protecting and restoring puffin nesting sites. We also have great Dad’s Day puffin gifts such as puffin boxers, belts, t-shirts, and hats available through our online store. Place orders by Tuesday, June 11th to receive adoption papers and gifts by Father’s day.

A hard winter for puffins
It is not easy being a seabird! This winter, thousands of razorbills showed up along the coast of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, both areas where they were previously unknown. In February, thirty-nine puffins and 264 razorbills were found dead on a beach in Cape Cod by a single beach walker. Warmer than usual water and strong storms in the fall and winter months apparently weakened puffins and razorbills (close relatives of the puffin). This followed a summer of poor nesting success at Maine puffin colonies where puffins tried to feed their chicks oversized butterfish.

Initial observations from Maine puffin colonies this year suggest that puffin numbers are either lower, or possibly late in laying eggs. This story made national news this week, and we will continue to update you as we receive reports from our island research teams.

Interns head to islands
On May 28th, 25 interns and volunteers packed their bags and headed out to our seven Maine island field stations, where they will live and work for the next 10 weeks. To prepare, they spent three intensive training days at the Hog Island Audubon Camp, where they learned about the ecology of the Gulf of Maine, fish identification, banding methods, and small boat safety. Dr. Michael Fahey, a fisheries biologist from the National Marine Fisheries Service presented on fish migrations that are key to seabird nesting success. Training in nautical knots proved helpful this past weekend, as the interns secured their tents and observation blinds in preparation for Tropical Storm Andrea, which delivered 30 mph winds and 9 foot seas!