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.

Friday 20 June 2014

Tufted puffin seen on Atlantic coast for 1st time since 1830s

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.
Tufted Puffin Alaska (cropped).jpg"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.

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