Iceland Mag

8 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


The puffin population of Iceland is flying back to shore

By Staff

  • The Homecoming Puffins return home to the same burrows every year. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson

Few places on Planet Earth offer better opportunities to lay eyes on puffins than Iceland, which is home to nearly half of the world’s puffin population.

These small, beautiful penguin-like birds spend autumn and winter out on the open sea but fly back to shore in late April to breed. They are usually monogamous and return home to the same burrows every year.

Read more: 5 Things you need to know about Puffins

The population has been on a steady decline in Iceland in the past decade, believed to be caused by food shortages in the ocean as the result of climate changes. Puffins are, however, not an endangered species.

Millions of them grace the hills and cliffs of Iceland’s coasts during spring and summer, before they take off again to the open sea in the autumn.

Read more: A total of 19,046 birds of 79 different species ringed in Iceland in 2014

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