One of my photography goals, when I was in Maine in June, was to photograph Atlantic Puffins. I had never seen a puffin, except in various media. They are very unusual, beautiful seabirds, and I was excited that I might have the opportunity to see and photograph them. In June, some Atlantic Puffins nest on several of Maine’s outer islands. Therefore, I knew my chances were good.
Puffins have predominantly black and white plumage, a stocky build, and large beaks. They shed the colorful outer parts of their bills after the breeding season, leaving a smaller and duller beak. Their short wings are adapted for swimming with a flying technique under water much like a penguin. In the air, they beat their wings rapidly (up to 400 times per minute) in swift flight, often flying low over the ocean’s surface at speeds reaching 55 MPH.
Puffins are pelagic seabirds, meaning that they…
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