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.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Fewer Puffins Return to Maine, Indicating Greater Issues at Hand

Puffins have once again returned to several Maine islands and, unlike last year, are finding plenty of food for their young chicks, though scientists are not necessarily taking that as a good sign.

Young puffins died at an alarming rate last summer as a result of a herring shortage, which in turn led adults to try to feed their offspring fish that were too big to swallow: some chicks were found dead surrounded by piles of uneaten fish, according to the Associated Press.

However, despite the plentitude of food, researchers are still worrying over the bird's welfare given that their numbers seem to be dwindling, as seen in the fact that roughly a third of the burrows at the nation's two largest colonies are unoccupied, according to Steve Kress, director of theNational Audobon Society's seabird restoration program and professor at Cornell University.

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