Mystery surrounds how a bird common on Pacific coast arrived on Machias Seal Island in Bay of Fundy
The first sighting of a tufted puffin on the east coast of North America in almost 200 years has people wondering how the common Pacific coast seabird made it to the Atlantic waters.
Ralph Eldridge, the lighthouse keeper on Machias Seal Island in the Bay of Fundy, spotted the bird and noted it was different from the thousands of Atlantic puffins found at the Canadian Wildlife Service sanctuary on the island.
"It stood out as different from our Atlantic puffins — larger, blacker but with a conspicuously orange beak and most notable, a very white face," said Eldridge in an email to CBC News.
Eldridge alerted Tony Diamond, a biology professor from the University of New Brunswick, who is on the island running the Atlantic Laboratory for Avian Research.
Diamond was able to view the bird in a large telescope and confirm the identification.
Tufted puffins are common on the Pacific coast from Alaska to northern California, breeding on offshore islands.