Dead puffins thought to have been blown to Island by storms

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The winter storms pummeling the US eastern seaboard have resulted in dead seabirds being washed up on the shores of Bermuda.

For the first time since 2005, carcasses of puffins have been found on the Island's beaches.

Andrew Dobson, of the Bermuda Audubon Society, received several calls from members with sightings at the weekend.

  • <b>One of three dead puffins</b> found on Bottle Beach, Ireland Island, at the weekend

    One of three dead puffins found on Bottle Beach, Ireland Island, at the weekend


The winter storms pummeling the US eastern seaboard have resulted in dead seabirds being washed up on the shores of Bermuda.

For the first time since 2005, carcasses of puffins have been found on the Island's beaches.

Andrew Dobson, of the Bermuda Audubon Society, received several calls from members with sightings at the weekend.

Five puffins were discovered on beaches in the West End on Sunday, but Mr. Dobson said the birds were likely to wash up all over the Island.

"These deaths are almost certainly the result of the severe winter storms experienced on the eastern seaboard of the US," he said.

"The Atlantic Puffin breeds on the Atlantic coast in Maine and eastern Canada, and winters in ocean waters as far south as Maryland.

"It has probably been blown way out of its feeding area by the storms. Unable to find its normal food source it has then been driven further out into the ocean.

"These birds probably perished at sea before being washed ashore," said Mr. Dobson. "They were significantly under their normal weight, which probably explains their untimely death, through starvation."

He said: "This is the second time an incident like this has occurred. In March 2005, nine dead puffins were found. That also followed bad weather.

"Prior to that, there had only been six previous records, all single puffins, so it is really quite unusual."

He added: "As Bermuda is only a tiny stretch of land, there may be hundreds more out there which have died."

Although the chances of finding a puffin alive are low, people should take any survivors to the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo (BAMZ) rehabilitation centre in Flatts.

The Audubon Society is asking for any other sightings to be reported to: info@audubon.bm

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