RSPB Spotlight: Puffins
Enduringly popular, Puffins are perhaps our most iconic species of bird, and are the most immediately identifiable of seabirds with their decorative bills and clown-like gait. Yet when they take to the air they wheel and turn with great agility and underwater these stocky little birds use short specially adapted wings to propel themselves through the water in pursuit of small fish.
Surprisingly little was known about Puffin ecology until recently thanks to their preferred breeding habitat being underground on remote islands or hard-to-reach coastlines. Now Euan Dunn discloses all we have learnt about them as a result of technological advances, and provides a revealing account of their life cycle, behaviour and breeding, what they eat, how they interact in their busy colonies, and where they migrate to in winter. Euan also exposes the mounting threats Puffins face and offers advice on the best places to see them.
Each Spotlight title is carefully designed to introduce readers to the lives and behaviour of our favourite birds and mammals.
Euan Dunn is Head of Marine Policy at the RSPB. He studied seabirds at the Universities of Durham and Oxford and has worked on many seabird islands including the UK's biggest puffin colony, the remote Atlantic citadel of St Kilda. Euan has written many papers and articles and was the natural history editor of The Countryman magazine for 13 years. He wrote The Colourful World of Birds and co-authored the lauded nine-volume The Birds of the Western Palearctic, and has also illustrated books on whales, dolphins and robins. In 2007, Euan was awarded an MBE for contributions to marine conservation.