Atlantic Puffins

I know it is stupid, but one of things MJ and I wanted to see while we where in Iceland were Puffins.  There are three types of Puffins, two of which are in the northern Pacific.  The Atlantic Puffin is the 3rd and is also found in the northern part of the ocean.  Iceland is famous for their bird colonies including tons of Puffins. 

So yesterday we started the day out by leaving our hotel in Skogar and went to Dyrholaey near the town of Vik.  This area has a very large rock ledge/crest (hundreds of feet high) extending out into the sea.  At the ocean level, the sea has washed away two areas creating two natural bridges.  On these cliffs, the Puffins nest and bred.  At the top of the cliffs near the lighthouse, MJ and I saw and photographed these amazing animals.

As you can see, they are predominantly black and white, have a stocky build with large colorful beaks.  After breeding they shed these beaks for smaller less colorful versions.  Their short wings are adapted for swimming with a flying type technique underwater.  Surprisingly, they are very good at flying (you wouldn’t know it by looking at them) and normally beat their wings up to 400 times per minute.   What they are not great at is landing.  They basically crash land.

 To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the picture above.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the picture above.

 Atlantic Puffin

Atlantic Puffin