Puffin Sanctuary Island

August 28, 1992

We were taken by an island where, according to the captain, 40,000 puffins live. We could see lots of them on the steep rocks of the side of the island. Jeff and I had seen puffins near Homer last year on the other side of the Kenai peninsula.

We could see the birds under tufts of grass on ledges, the same way we saw them near Homer.

This proud puffin has staked out a place high on a rock.

All the way up the steep cliffs on the rocks we saw groups of puffins, almost always near one of the characteristic clumps of grass where they make their nests.

We saw lots of puffins in the water, where they dive to fish. When startled by the boat, they would laboriously take off with frantic flapping.

The captain had tales about puffins being such good fishers that they ate so much they couldn't take off. We saw several examples like this where the puffins would just flail their wings like wind-up toys and not be able to get airborne from the water.

Sea lions on the Chiswell Islands

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