As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 18 December 2017

‘Puffarazzi' clue to decline in puffins

28 November 2017

Photographs of puffins taken by wildlife enthusiasts have provided a clue to why numbers of the birds in Britain and Ireland have been falling.

RSPB Scotland said images showing what the birds were feeding chicks suggested that puffins in the Northern Isles were catching less nutritious prey.

The colonies in Orkney and Shetland have suffered some of the most serious declines in numbers.

The photos were taken by 602 people, dubbed "Puffarazi" by the charity.

An appeal yielded 1,402 images of puffins, 517 of which were of birds at sites in Scotland.

Traditionally, puffins feed on a mixture of fish, with nutritious sandeels making up a high proportion of their diet.

Early results suggest that the diet of puffins varies significantly around the UK and Ireland, said RSPB Scotland.

In Orkney and Shetland, puffins appeared to be consistently finding smaller prey compared to most other colonies.

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