Seeking Tufted Puffins

Flatrock Island

Flatrock Island

Tansy was eager to see puffins while sailing aboard the schooner Passing Cloud  earlier this month.

She had helped to rescue a rare puffin-in-the-shape-of-a-muffin once (click here for that story) and had listened avidly to Constance’s stories of the Atlantic Puffins she saw in Iceland (here).

From these encounters Tansy had developed a strong urge to see Tufted Puffins in the wild and up close. Last summer she had spotted them at a distance while motoring along the west side of Gwaii Haanas, but they were too far away to appear much more than small dark seabirds.

The first stop on the puffin search was Flatrock Island near the mouth of Louscoone Inlet. A few puffins  nest there, and Tansy did see them, but not close enough for her liking.

Later in the trip, the Passing Cloud stopped at another puffin nesting site on the east edge of Kunghit Island where to Tansy’s delight there were many Tufted Puffins to be seen.


Kunghit Island Beneath the Nests

Kunghit Island Beneath the Nests

At first the puffins were a bit far away, and it was not safe to get too close to the nests, nor kind to the puffins who react badly to masts swooping by close to the cliff surface.

Nesting on Kunghit Island

Kunghit Island – the small white specks near the centre of the picture are puffins at the entrance to their burrows.

Eventually, the boat was able to get close to some that were fishing a bit off shore and Tansy finally saw Tufted Puffins up close.

Kunghit Island

Kunghit Island

  They are quite different from the muffin shaped puffin that she knows quite well.

Take Off

Take Off

Running on Water

Running on Water

Nearly Airborne

Nearly Airborne



 It was a satisfying conclusion to the puffin search and Tansy finally feels as if she has seen puffins properly.


19 thoughts on “Seeking Tufted Puffins

    • Indeed, Tansy is a fortunate Hitty- they were very lucky with the weather the second trip – lots of blue sky overhead made for reflected beauty on the surface of the water!

  1. The favorite photographer has done a glorious job in capturing the movement of these magnificent birds. What a sight for Tansy’s eyes.

  2. Favorite Photographer is doing an absolutely magnificent job of photographing puffins this week! The Bonsai Hittys are enthralled to see the Puffins. Thank you!!

    • It was quite a treat to see them that close in real life, and we are so grateful to the photographer for capturing them in pixels! We loved the pictures of the puffing running on the surface of the water to get enough momentum for lift-off!

  3. This post was extraordinarily exciting. Just so beautiful to see these photos. Thanks for the “click here” to see the story about the muffin puffin…laughing out loud and keep going back for more. That little bug and Bjork are beyond adorable. I can’t extol how great all these stories are adequately.
    I am a birder and puffins are my favorite. I had a little dog for 17-1/2 years that I named Puffins. I really love them as you can tell. Just wondering if you guys are familiar with the Audubon Puffin loafing ledge web cam? I love it and view it frequently.

    • We love puffins too! I think it is because of the childhood book “There once was a puffin” which I still have (and which Min loves to read). Whenever we can tear Constance away from the Walrus webcam we do check out the puffins!

    • You are so welcome! The inhabitants of the Hitty Cupboard are so grateful to their favourite photographer for taking Tansy on adventures…the stories she tells keep the girls enthralled all winter!

  4. Fascinating…puffins are such otherworldly birds! Such beautiful photos… I also enjoyed the reference to the older posts regarding the Muffin Shaped Puffin..I had forgotten those hilarious adventures. Thank you!!

    • You are welcome! We adore puffins, and are amazed at the photos too. I am sure many photos taken at the same time by other people just show little puffin specks and not the beak, feet, feathers and tufts of the individual birds. Thanks to the photographer!!! I am glad you enjoyed the puffin story from a while back! We had fun with it.

  5. The photographer’s work is outstanding on this trip! I have loved Puffins since being a small child, because I loved for my sister to read the poem of puffins to me, “There Once was a Puffin”. It was published in my mother’s Compton’s Enclycolpedia from 1924, with beautiful illustrations. Oh I wish I had the pages from that book! I have copies of my chesrished poem, but not THE one I loved so much.
    Celia C

  6. After writing the note about puffins, I remembered that the book was Compton’s Pictured Encyclopedia. How wonderful that you had a copy of it, too. So charmning and educational for children. Do you still have your copy?

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