While wild puffins nest in holes in the ground and in rocky crevices, the puffins here at the Aquarium nest in specially-constructed breeding burrows.
Cleaned and closed off for the winter, these breeding burrows are now open and accessible to our birds. Nesting materials, such as pine needles and corn husks are scattered throughout the exhibit by our aviculturists.
Using a special night-vision camera,Victor and Vixen can be seen outfitting their burrow with corn husks:
If the burrow is to their liking, a single egg will be laid and incubated by both parents for approximately 40 days. The chick will remain in the burrow for an additional 4-6 weeks while the parents care for it.
Victor and Vixen are experienced puffin parents and have successfully raised several chicks here at the Aquarium!
Later this summer, Rainforest aviculturist Aimee Milarski will travel to Maine with the Audubon Society’s Project Puffin to assist in monitoring wild puffin populations.
Stay tuned for more puffin updates!