Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lost Puffin in Montreal

We have been talking a lot about alcid species in Connecticut in the past month. Razorbills are being seen on a daily basis in Long Island Sound. It feels like it is almost only a matter of time before someone gets a great look at a Black Guilletmot, a Dovekie, a murre species, or more. Finding an Atlantic Puffin would be incredible, the rarest of the rare, though it is on Connecticut's bird list.

Last week I read this story on a lost Puffin that found itself in the streets of Montreal:

Yes, it was literally running down the streets in the city, lucky enough to be found by someone who knew what it was and that it did not belong there. These birds are adept at swimming and flying, not running, so I am sure it would have been an easy catch. Nevertheless, the intrepid rescuer made sure that it found its way to an expert, and it will be returned to the Atlantic as soon as it is well enough. There is a photo of the bird in the full article as well.

If a bird like that can be thrown off course that far then it is entirely conceivable that we could see one in Long Island Sound when so many Razorbills are already joining us. It seems more and more likely, as we watch the Razorbills flying west into the Sound each morning, that they are coming in to feed. Small species of fish are known to be on the rise in recent years, and observations from many people, including my own, suggest that they are landing and then feeding after entering our waters. I have watched them doing this off Stratford Point on multiple occasions during the last couple of weeks. We will keep watching and hoping for an Atlantic Puffin of our own, a healthy and well-fed individual that wants to come have a snack in the Sound.

If you want to come to Stratford Point to see some Razorbills for yourself I would suggest you join us for our walk on January 5.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation Techinician

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