With its colorful beak and fast, whirring flight, the Atlantic Puffin is the most recognisable and popular of all North Atlantic seabirds. Puffins spend most of the year at sea, but for a few months of the year the come to shore, nesting in burrows on steep cliffs or on inaccessible islands. Awe-inspiring numbers of these birds can sometimes be seen bobbing on the sea or flying in vast wheels over the colony, bringing fish in their beaks back to the chicks. However, the species has declined sharply over the last decade; this is due to a collapse in fish stocks caused by overfishing and global warming, combined with an exponential increase in Pipefish (which can kill the chicks).
The Puffin is a revised and expanded second edition of Poyser's 1984 title on these endearing birds, widely considered to be a Poyser classic. It includes sections on their affinities, nesting and incubation, movements, foraging ecology, survivorship, predation, and research methodology; particular attention is paid to conservation, with the species considered an important 'indicator' of the health of our coasts.
About the Author(s):
Mike Harris is one of the best-known seabird biologists in Britain today. Formerly a warden on Skokholm Island, his research on auks and other species has led to ecological research in places such as the Isle of May, St Kilda and the Galápagos Islands. His successful career was acknowledged by the award of the prestigious BOU Godman-Salvin Medal for distinguished ornithological work in 2006.