Maine’s puffins on pace for record year

Atlantic puffins off the coast of Maine are on pace to set a record number of breeding pairs. ©Billtacular

Atlantic puffins (Fratercula arctica) off the coast of Maine are on pace to set a record number of breeding pairs. National Audubon Society scientist Stephen Kress tells the Associated Press that this year’s numbers are likely to surpass last year’s record, when nearly 750 pairs nested on Seal Island and Eastern Egg Rock. The birds are thriving in part due to an abundance of prey, like young haddock, hake and herring. But Kress cautions that the birds’ populations fluctuate from year to year.

“We’re very much in a system of a roller coaster as far as the puffins go,” he said.

Watch below to see a live webcam of the puffins at Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge, hosted by explore.org.

Read more from the Associated Press here.