Puffins arrive at Lundy from mid-March to nest in burrows underground. They lay a single egg. After hatching, young puffins (pufflings) stay hidden underground in the nest. The puffins leave Lundy in late July/August and spend their non-breeding season throughout the north Atlantic. The earliest survey we have on record is in 1939 when there were an estimated 3500 pairs breeding. Unfortunately the numbers have fallen considerably since then, most probably as a result of rat predation. In 2000 there were just 5 pairs remaining on Lundy, breeding at St. Phillips Stone.
Since the Seabird Recovery Project rat eradication in 2006 the puffins have slowly started to show signs of recovery. Puffins are extremely faithful to their birth colony and once paired they mate for life with 90% of birds returning to the same burrow every year, so in 2008 it was extremely exciting to find puffins breeding at Jenny's Cove, a historic site that had not been occupied for at least ten years.
In 2014, over 200 Puffins were counted at Lundy with a minimum of 35 breeding pairs. The island wardens survey the Jenny's cove colony each year and without the presence of rats, pufflings have fledged successfully for the last few years.
Click on the video link below to see one of Lundy's first puffin chicks to be seen after the Seabird Recovery Project:
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