Monday 16th January comments: At this time of year we are often asked what are the Puffins doing and when is the best time to see them? Well its simple…sort of.
At this time of the year Puffins are far out in the North Sea and some are even further out in the North Atlantic but it wont be long before the birds will be returning. In early March Puffins will head back towards nesting colonies down the east coast of the UK and by the end of the month will touch land for the first time since last August.
In April lots of courtship displaying will commence (in general birds pair bond for life) and spring cleaning of their burrows will begin. By mid-April birds will be on eggs, each pair laying a single egg below ground in their burrows and incubation takes 40 days.
From late May the first chicks will hatch and parents will become busy as a single chick needs a lot of food to grow. It takes approximately 40 days for a chick to fledge from hatching. From early July the first chicks will fledge and by early August the majority of chicks will have departed.
And that’s it! From mid-August all the parents will depart for the open sea and the cycle will start all over again as they’ll return to wintering grounds and survive (hopefully) for another summer. That’s a Puffins life story and if you want to see them, the Isle of May supports the biggest population down the east coast so its well worth a visit. You booked? We open from 1st April 2017.