It’s that time of year again…let’s spy on some puffins! Audubon’s live feed of the bright-beaked cuties at Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge in Maine has been bringing joy to desk jockeys for the last three springs, and another season is kicking off. Puffin enthusiasts can choose from three different views: the Loafing Ledge, the Boulder Berm, or the intimate Puffin Burrow, where prospective parents Phoebe and Finn are currently incubating an egg.
Nesting Atlantic puffins are a relatively new sight on Seal Island. Hunting decimated their population there in 1887, and prior to 1992, when Audubon’s restoration efforts started to pay off, they’d been MIA for more than a century. By 2012, more than 500 nesting pairs had settled down to raise chicks, and in the case of Phoebe and Finn, become reality TV families. But the seabirds aren’t in the clear yet. Humans still threaten these puffins and their Pacific cousins through overfishing, habitat destruction, invasive species, and climate change. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show—these “clowns of the sea” could use more adoring fans on their side.
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