Saturday, 27 June 2015

Bird of the week - Puffin

The puffin (Fratercula arctica) is everyone's favourite seabird.  There are 40,000 pairs on the Farne Islands.

This one looks either happy or bored.  The serrations inside the beak help it hold onto fish.

The puffin's favourite food is sand eels.  The record number in one beakful is 83!  Returning puffins fly back to land in groups to reduce the risk of attack from predatory gulls and skuas.

Puffins make their nests in burrows grouped in colonies.  The female lays a single egg and on fledging the chick leaves the nest for the first time at night.  It swims out to sea and does not return to land for two or three years.

Listen to the BBC Radio 4 Tweet of the Day on puffins here.