The Burhou puffins lay their eggs
By now some of the puffins will have laid eggs down in their burrows on Burhou. Both parents take turns incubating the egg for around 6 weeks – so there pufflings won’t be hatching until late May.
On the cameras you may see the parents coming back and forth to swap over their time in the burrow. They’ll be spending a lot of time out at sea, fattening up ready for when they have an extra mouth to feed soon. Every day at 4pm colony cam will pan round Burhou, to the breeding burrows where it will zoom in, then cut across to show the bay where the puffins raft giving you a good chance of seeing the birds. Colony cam will also show views of the gull colony – did you know along with puffins there are over 1,000 pairs of lesser black-backed gulls nesting on Burhou. You can tell these gulls apart from herring gulls (what most people mean when they say seagull) because lessers have yellow legs whereas the herring gulls have pink.
In the last blog we mentioned what good swimmers the birds are, using their wings and feet to ‘fly’ underwater. When they dive for fish they can stay under for around a minute. But mostly their dives are shorter.
Around Burhou the puffins will mainly be looking for sand eels (their favourite food), but will also eat fish like herring and hake.
Sometimes you can tell if a puffin has an egg in their burrow as they behave differently, guarding their burrow. If you spot a puffin stood very upright, taking very slow and careful foot movements it is probably guarding a burrow!
Puffin makes an appearance on close-up cam
We had just finished making some adjustments to the cameras and once our team got back to the hut (where all the electrical equipment is kept) this puffin decided to take centre stage on the close-up camera.