Puffin Island

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Irish Puffin Postage Stamp
Puffin Island seen from the sea
English: Puffin - named after the bird
Irish: Oileán na gCánóg

87 hectares

None found yet.



Faeroe Islands postage stamp

The puffin is a true bird of the sea, coming ashore only to nest. They nest in burrows, usuallly on inaccessible cliffs, often taking over disused rabbit burrows. Their striking bills become even more colourful in the breeding season, which has earned them the affectionate (though scientifically inaccurate) name "sea parrot". When feeding their young thay are often seen with a row of sand eels or sprats neatly packed in their bills.
Oscar J. Merne (National Parks and Wildlife Service in the
An Post booklet on Birds of Ireland stamps.

Some of the puffins from Skellig Michael / Puffin Island have been geotagged and recorded as flying in search of fish across the Atlantic in the autumn and back in the Spring.

Puffin Island Nature Reserve

The island hosts large numbers, over 20,000 pairs, of breeding seabirds. The island is owned by the State and Birdwatch Ireland.
Bird Number
Storm Petrel - More 5,177 pairs
Manx Shearwater 6,329 pairs
Fulmar 447 pairs
Puffin 5,125 individuals
Guillemot 250 pairs
Lesser Black-backed Gull 139 pairs
Great Black-backed Gull 72 pairs
Kittiwake 250 pairs
Shag 5+ pairs
Chough 1 pair
Figures per NPWS website for the Seabird Survey 2000 except 1982 figures for Guillemots and Kittiwakes. These numbers indicate the presence of and population size of breeding birds.

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