The Puffins have arrived in the Westman Islands

The puffin resides in cliffs all over Iceland and feeds on small fish. Photo: Iceland Monitor/Rax / Ragnar Axelsson

The Puffins have arrived in The Westman Islands

Staff from South Iceland Nature Research Centre spotted the early birds on Easter Sunday out on sea close to the islands. Later the same evening they had arrived at shore. The puffin resides in cliffs all over Iceland and feeds on small fish. It’s most common in the Westman Islands, though the population there is slowly declining.

With its colourful beak and slightly peculiar look and funny walk, the Puffin is not only popular amongst tourists but also the locals who often refer to it as prófasturinn, the pastor or dean of the church, a reference to its cape-like cover of black and white feather colours.

Most of the puffins stay at the islands for a couple of days and then go back to sea to return again at the end of May to find the holes in which they will lay their eggs. The puffin doesn’t makes nests like most other birds but digs holes in the earth where it lays its eggs.

In autumn, when the baby puffins crawl out of their holes in the Westman Islands and head out to shore, they then often get lost and wander towards the light of the nearby Heimaey town. The locals then walk a round in the evening and pick up the lost baby puffins and let them stay for the night, to let them loose at the beach the next day, where they can easily walk into the sea and swim away.

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