Location: Seal Island, Maine best viewing hours: 24/7 (with infrared lighting) time zone: Eastern Time

Atlantic Puffins spend most of their time at sea — coming to land each spring to breed in colonies on northern seacoasts and rocky islands, like Seal Island in Maine, home to the puffins visible on our live cam. These colorful pigeon-sized birds lay one egg in their burrow homes, with the male and female sharing incubation duties for approximately 39-43 days. After the chick hatches both parents feed it fish for approximately 45 days. After that the “puffling” is large enough to fledge (leave the nest.)

Puffins are excellent swimmers, using their wings to essentially ‘fly’ underwater while using their feet as rudders. They eat a variety of small fish including herring, hake, capelin and sand lance. Puffins do not come to land outside of the breeding season, flying, swimming or riding the ocean surface throughout the year regardless of weather. The Atlantic Puffin is the only species of puffin found on the Atlantic coast. The three other species of puffin are found only in the Pacific.(Source)

Puffins make nests in holes among the rocks or they dig a deep burrow in the soil. The female lays just one egg in the nest. Both parents take turns to sit on the egg until it hatches, and both catch fish and feed it to the chick for about six weeks. After this time the chick leaves the burrow and starts to swim and dive to find its own food.

Puffins breed after they are about 5 years old.

In winter, and after breeding, puffins migrate (fly) south to warmer places. (Source)

LIVE Puffin Burrow

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