Friday, March 22, 2013
An Atlantic Puffin. These birds are in the Auk family with a stocky build and colourful beak in breeding season.
Nesting colonies can be seen offshore on the southern shore of the Avalon Peninsula, a short boat ride away. Often called "sea parrots" because of their coloured beaks, in Newfoundland they're sometimes called "sea potatoes" because of their chunky shape. Such effort these little birds put into flying, with wings beating up to 400 times per minute and able to reach speeds of 55 miles per hour. They swim underwater as well as they fly, but only for short submersion times of 20 or 30 seconds.
In December 2011, a baby puffin was found wandering on the streets of Montreal and flown by Air Canada back to Newfoundland for some TLC before being released.