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Old May 8th, 2008, 04:22 AM   #1
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Puffin falls off cliff.

I thought I'd share this little comic moment. No wonder they're called Sea Clowns.

http://myspacetv.com/index.cfm?fusea...deoid=33821723

Now available on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1P7wKlEYdg
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Last edited by Grant Sherman; May 8th, 2008 at 11:39 AM.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 12:52 PM   #2
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They aren't the brightest birds out there, are they?
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Old May 8th, 2008, 03:12 PM   #3
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Super little clip, Grant.

I'm hoping to go Puffin-hunting (with a camera!) some day soon for an UWOL challenge, though it would mean a boat trip. I just love watching them and can't get enough of them.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 06:06 PM   #4
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Nice video clip. :-)
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Old May 15th, 2008, 05:24 PM   #5
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Lovely to get that moment.
Was that nest material in its beak, Grant? Maybe a bit early in May to be feeding young? Is there much gannet life on Lundy?
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Old May 16th, 2008, 04:06 AM   #6
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Looked like it was grabbing a bit of vegetation - maybe to stop itself slipping off!

Puffins don't usually build nests, but sometimes take in vegetation if the nest is getting flooded - they need to keep the egg or chick out of the water. Later in the season when young puffins come back to look for a mate and nest site (so they are ready to breed the following season) they will carry stuff around in their beaks - showing off, or perhaps just trying to emulate the "grown-ups" bringing back fish for their chicks.

After 27 years of puffin watching, I can still sit there for hours enjoying them. And now I've got an excuse to take more photos (digital to replace the slides) and video (now in HD) if only I could find time. I had hopes for today, but there is too much work to do.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 01:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan Marnell View Post
Lovely to get that moment.
Was that nest material in its beak, Grant? Maybe a bit early in May to be feeding young? Is there much gannet life on Lundy?
Yeap that was nest material. This puffin had spent the last 20 minutes gathering nesting stuff. It had big bunches of grass in its beak - not just the single stalks that they sometimes carry around and then drop. We saw a chick in this burrow last year, but that was later in the year (13-15th July).

Gannets fish in the waters around Lundy, but they haven't breed since the early 20th Century. The last breeding attempt was probably 1927.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 10:02 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Annie Haycock View Post
Puffins don't usually build nests, but sometimes take in vegetation if the nest is getting flooded - they need to keep the egg or chick out of the water. Later in the season when young puffins come back to look for a mate and nest site (so they are ready to breed the following season) they will carry stuff around in their beaks - showing off, or perhaps just trying to emulate the "grown-ups" bringing back fish for their chicks.
I found this interesting as our Lundy Puffins often collect nest material. According to Mike Harris the amount of nest material varies considerably from colony to colony:

Quote:
.. large amounts of plant material are common amongst boulders in Norway and in the burrows on the Isle of May but there is almost no lining in the Russian colonies. On the Farne Islands it varies widely, even on one island. A major factor may be the availability of suitable, easily plucked vegetation adjacent to the burrow, as birds only rarely carry material from any distance. (Harrris (1984) "The Puffin" Poyser p83)
What's the vegetation like on your side of the water?

Grant
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Old May 19th, 2008, 11:53 AM   #9
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Grant, Annie,
my experience with puffins are from the Runde Island, situated at the western part of Norway. I've observed on my trips to the island that they don't build any nest, but use caves under rocks where they breed in the periode from May to June. Nesting material are used to make a good support under the breeding season but they actually don't build any nest.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 12:44 PM   #10
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On Skomer they usually use rabbit burrows - it's easier to kick out a rabbit than to dig your own burrow!! and apparently most of the rabbits live above ground during the summer. The same applies to the Manx shearwaters.

There is plenty of vegetation, but from my observations, puffins are most often seen carrying potential nesting material after periods of rain, and when the young birds return in late summer. As Mike Harris says, it varies from place to place. If I have time, I'll look at his book again - we have two copies, so I have no excuse.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 07:22 PM   #11
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Grant,

I am supprised you didn't run over to get a shot of it going down, eh??

Looks to have tugged a little to hard!!!

Cute shot.
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