The puffin, a cool coastal bird

The puffin

The puffin. In this case the horned puffin. One of my favorite coastal birds. Because during the breeding season they develop a brightly colored beak and just look darn cool. They lose that beak after the breeding season. While common and their range comes all the way down to California and New York, I have rarely seen them outside of my trips to Alaska and the northern coasts of Canada. 

I have read the the Icelanders and Norwegians find these cute birds a delicacy. I guess if folks also hunt prairie chickens and quail, I guess these are fair game. 

During my recent trip to Alaska, I had the chance to head out to Gull Island just off the Homer Spit. While the island is overrun with common murres and gulls, you get to see the occasional puffin in the chaos. While the gulls and murres build their nests on the edge of the cliffs in huge bird cities, the puffin prefer to find small burrows to lay their eggs so you can’t always see them. In this case, I had one that decided to pose before he waddled his way up to his burrow.

In this case, while bobbing around in a small boat in the sound, I hand-help the Nikkor 180-400mm f/4 with the Nikon Z 7 attached using the FTZ adapter. Because I was on a moving platform, I had the lens VR set to active while trying to maintain a decent ISO to shutter speed ratio of 1/250.

This entry was posted in Travel, Wildlife.

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Copyright Eric Mitch 2018