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Puffins on the Farne Islands

See these amazing birds on the northeast coast of England!


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Known as sea parrots because of their colorful beaks, puffins fly to the Farne Islands in England every year to nest in the spring as here they can find a sufficient amount of food. There are not so many terrestrial predators and good protection for nesting on these islands.

Puffins are thick and short-winged creatures but they fly well. They can flap their wings up to 400 times per minute and are able to reach speeds of up to 55 miles per hour. On the ground, they move holding their body almost vertically in quite an amusing fashion. Puffins are also great swimmers and divers. This is one of the few birds that can dig burrows as well.

Puffins lay one egg a year, mating with the same partner. Both parents in turn incubate this egg, and then, in the same way, bring the chick food. Every year they return to the same place. The life expectancy of these birds is often 20 years or more.

Puffins come back to the Farnes to breed every year in early April and stay in the area until mid- to late July. The peak breeding season usually falls in May and June, so it is the best time to take a tour to the islands.

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