Jump Night

Cliff (Joe Turner)

The mighty big seacliffs of the Isle of May (Joe Turner CEH)

Guillemot with chick Joe Turner

Guillemot with youngster (Joe Turner CEH)

3 Guillemot chick

Guillemot chick

4 Guillemot with young on sea

On the sea and ready to go with dad

Monday 19th June comments: Its jumpling time! Seabirds have different strategies for nesting and raising young and the cliff nesting auks; Guillemot and Razorbill are very unique in their style of raising a chick.

Guillemots will lay a single egg but rather than build a nest, will incubate under their feet (like Penguins). Once hatched the chick will remain on the cliff edge until approximately 25 days old and then it times to jump! Before the chicks have even developed flight feathers, the fathers call the chick down and the chick jumps! (regardless of height of cliffs).

As the birds are so young, they can take big impacts as their bones have not fully developed and once down, they’ll follow the fathers out to sea and will stick with the dads until fully winged and independent. Its a very interesting strategy but it works as Guillemots are on the increase. And last night saw the first birds jump off the cliffs. Success and let the jumplings jump!

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