You could have seen pictures and movies circling the web of individuals throwing child puffins, or pufflings, off of cliffs. Whereas you could have been shocked, it’s truly a standard apply in Iceland. As soon as pufflings are able to enterprise off on their very own, they need to make their manner out to sea and be a part of their flock. Nonetheless, a few of them can get caught, so the communities round Iceland come collectively to assist pufflings discover their manner dwelling. That is known as puffling season.
Puffins are sea birds within the Alcidae (Auk) household. Although their beak and black and white feathers look much like a penguin, they don’t seem to be intently associated. Their shut relations embody the guillemot and the razorbill. Puffins, together with different Auks, can fly, in contrast to penguins.
There are four species of puffin: the Atlantic, the horned, the tufted and the rhinoceros auklet. The Atlantic is the commonest, discovered across the North Atlantic, together with Iceland. Their identify more than likely derives from the massive quantity of down fur their infants have, also known as puff balls.
Because the pufflings mature and prepare to move out to sea, they arrive out of their burrows at night time and look to the moon for steering — very like baby sea turtles. And sadly, pufflings usually make their manner towards what they suppose is the moon however is definitely nocturnal, synthetic mild sources — or mild air pollution.
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Due to mild air pollution, the pufflings get misplaced and discover themselves stranded within the cities round Iceland. However locals in Iceland have began the custom of puffling season, the place they exit at night time between 9 p.m. and three a.m. with flashlights and cardboard containers to catch the younger puffins.
Some pufflings even get scooped up within the harbor, the place the waters could also be oily and polluted. Within the morning, locals deliver the collected pufflings to a cliff the place they’re then set on the sting or gently tossed within the air. The pufflings then make their manner out to sea to affix their flock, the place they’ll keep for the subsequent 3 to 4 years.
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