More Puffins!! And Other Birdies!!

Puffin Fun Facts

  • The Atlantic Puffin is the provincial bird of Newfoundland & Labrador.
  • About 95% of Atlantic Puffins in North America breed around Newfoundland's coastlines.
  • Year after Year, puffins always return to the same island where they were born - they even return to the same burrow and the same mate!
  • Puffins swim better than they fly & keep their eyes open under water.
  • Puffins do not sit on their eggs like other birds, they have to tuck the egg in close and hug it with their wings to keep it warm!
  • When the weather gets cold, puffins loose their bright colours - their white feathers turn grey and their orange legs turn dark.
  • Puffins spend more time in the water than in the air.
  • North Atlantic puffins live in the ocean and return each spring to the island where they were hatched.

Everyone knows the colourful puffins.  Look for these six other common seabirds breeding and feeding around the province's coast.  The brilliant while wing patches of the Black Guillemont create a strobe light-like effect in flight.  The Great-backed Gull is the world's largest gull.  Common murre call "turrs" locally and time the hatching of their single colourful egg with the arrival of capelin off the coast.  Razorbills nest in rocky crevices and join the puffins and murres in pursuit of capelin.  Gannets are famous for plunge-diving from the sky in pursuit of fish and squid.  Kittiwakes nest in noisy colonies all around the Northeast coast.

Thousands and Thousand of Birds on Gull Island, Witless Bay, Newfoundland.

I do believe that these are Common Murre.

Witless Bay Ecological Reserve 

The Witless Bay Ecological Reserve is located off the east coast of Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula and is comprised of four islands—Gull, Green, Great, and Pee Pee. The reserve protects 31 square kilometres of breeding and nesting habitat for many bird species including the Atlantic Puffin and serves as an extensive bird research area.

The Witless Bay Islands are located 4 km off the east coast of the Avalon Peninsula, approximately 35 km south of St. John's, Newfoundland. The site consists of four small islands: Green, Great, Gull, and Pee Pee. All are rocky, with low cliffs and steep, grassy slopes. The two larger islands, Great and Gull, also support coniferous forest communities.