Since the end of May puffin activity on the cameras has been increasing, which fits in with the timing we noticed the birds arriving on land and eggs being laid.
Finally, in the first week of June we managed to catch some footage of the puffins bringing back fish to the burrows.
Each chick will be fed several times (up to 10!) a day by the parents so that’s lots of trips back and forth to the burrows. When they first hatch the pufflings weigh around 2 ounces and in the 6 weeks or so it takes them to fledge this will increase to 12 ounces.
This can be very exhausting for the adults because to feed themselves as well as the hungry chick they must catch over 400 sand eels every day.
How we can help puffins
The Burhou Puffin Friendly Zone, prevents boats coming too close in to the area the puffins rest on the water. This saves them from spending much-needed energy on unnecessary flight. If you live near Alderney please help us spread the word on this special area as we try to get it included on marine charts in future.
As our oceans warm the less fatty species of sand eel move northwards, providing less nutrition for the many species that depend on them – including puffins. Reducing our carbon footprint is vital for the health of our oceans and all wildlife.
Sand eels are also caught to be used as fish meal, to feed other fish like salmon or livestock including pigs and chickens. Thinking about the food we eat and where it comes from and making the choice not to eat food that strips the marine ecosystem of certain species can make a real difference.
If we increase the protection in our oceans this helps give sea life areas to thrive away from pressure. You can sign the Wildlife Trusts petition asking for new highly protected marine areas offering the strictest marine protection in the UK, here:
While the cameras have had their most reliable year so far, unfortunately one of the cameras has stopped working, likely due to an issue in the wiring. We have taken this camera off the site, and the other two seem to be working very well! Colony Cam is generally the best to watch, but Close Up Cam is getting some great views of small groups of puffins too. The tours on Colony Cam are now a little longer, and run daily at 2pm and 4pm, panning round Burhou.
Please do let us know what you spot on the cameras – especially if you see birds carrying fish back to the burrows.