Puffins fill up nesting islands this year despite challenges
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — One of the most beloved birds in Maine is having one of its most productive seasons for mating pairs in years on remote islands off the state’s coast.
Atlantic puffins, with their colorful beaks and waddling walks, are one of New England’s best recognized seabirds. Maine is the only state in the U.S. where the birds breed, and they do so on hard-to-reach places like Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge in the Gulf of Maine.
National Audubon Society scientist Stephen Kress says the birds are well on their way to setting a record for the number of breeding pairs. Kress says nearly 750 pairs nested on Seal Island and Eastern Egg Rock in 2018, and this year’s number will likely be higher.
Kress says the birds are thriving due to an abundance of food.