Helping Hand

Friday 16th July comments: Sorry we’ve been a bit distracted of recent but we’ll be posting plenty of blog posts in the foreseeable future. Just to bring you up to speed and start off with a nice story; we’ll bring you the latest on our Pufflings.

As reported in a recent blog, Pufflings are departing the island in good numbers and over the last few nights, huge numbers have gone which is wonderful for the colony but also the future generations of the species. As part of this, the team are finding youngsters daily as they need a helping hand out to sea but what is going on, why do they need this help? Well let us explain…

Pufflings are raised by both parents, as for the first 40 days of their lives they remain in the relative safety of their underground burrows (away from predators) and are fed on nutritious sand-eels and sprats. However as independence looms, the birds venture to the front of burrows to stretch wings and eventually the decision is made to leave. Under the cover of darkness, these youngsters leave without parents’ consent and head for the open sea. Many of the islands birds prefer to walk down to the sea taking advantage of the pathways and tracks which are vegetation free.

Having never seen the outside world before, small numbers can be distracted and curious by the buildings on the island and become trapped. As a result, a daily job (not a bad job to start a day) is that the team have to check around the buildings and other structures to ensure none have become trapped (birds have been found inside buildings including our kitchen and shower!) However it all ends well as these birds are ringed and released successfully soon after, sometimes by boat to get them well away from the island.

So that is how some Pufflings start their independent life and we wish them all well! Just a normal day in the life of the Isle of May….  

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