Sep 06 2011

Small But Mighty

Published by at 5:40 am under Water and Shore

Razorbills and puffins are birds of the open ocean who only come to land to nest.  In Maine their land-based period ends in August so I always miss seeing them on their nesting islands when I vacation here in September.

If I came in April I'd see them courting and claiming nest sites,and perhaps I'd be lucky enough to see something as unusual as this...

In this video from April 2008 at Lundy Island (UK), an Atlantic puffin -- about the size of a pigeon with orange feet -- is puttering outside his nest cave while amorous razorbills court all around him.

In their excitement a pair of razorbills walks into the puffin's nesting area.

Normally razorbills bully the puffins but in this case the encroachment is more than the puffin can take.

Even though the razorbills are twice his size, the puffin attacks ... and wins!

Click on the photo to watch the video.  At the end you'll see his lady come join him at the nesting site.

(There is no sound.)

(video entitled Puffin attacks razorbill by Grantus4504 from Wikimedia Commons)

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