Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag


The puffins are returning to land: A large flock spotted in Vestmannaeyjar islands

By Staff

  • Puffins taking off The puffinss fly off in the fall, only to return in the spring after having spent the entire winter fishing out at sea. Photo/Heiða

The first puffins of the season were spotted in the Vestmannaeyjar Islands, on the south coast of Iceland on Sunday. A large flock of puffins was seen in and around Kaplagjóta bay in Dalfjall mountain, on the western outskirts of the small fishing town on the largest of the Vestmannaeyjar islands. 

One of the harbingers of spring
The arrival of the puffins, along with that of the golden plover, is viewed by Icelanders as one of the signs that spring is coming.

Read more: Spring has formally arrived: The golden plover has returned from its winter migration

The puffins spend the winter out at sea fishing, but return in the spring to nest and raise their young. Puffins are monogamous and mate for life, each breeding pair returning to the same burrow year after year. 

Read more: A puffin chick is called a pysja: the life and adventurers of the adolescent puffin

The puffins are also very punctual, arriving at the same time every year. According to the local news site eyjar, the first puffins were spotted in Vestmannaeyjar islands on April 18 In 2015 and on April 19 in 2016. Half of the world's population of Atlantic puffin live in Iceland, and about half of those live in the Vestmannaeyjar islands. 


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