Annual rescue of pufflings — baby puffins — underway in Witless Bay


A rescue group at a Newfoundland chicken sanctuary has was one thing of a vacationer attraction, with folks from throughout in search of the prospect to rescue baby puffins — or “pufflings.”

The Witless Bay Puffin & Petrel Patrol was based by Juergen and Elfie Schau, who journey from Berlin each summer season to assist save the birds.

It was one thing they began doing after first visiting the realm in 2004.

Juergan Schau holds a chick he rescued in this photograph from 2016. (Puffin & Petrel Patrol/Fb)

“We had been strolling down the roads, and we noticed a number of dead birds in the morning, and we questioned what occurred,” mentioned Juergen Schau, recalling his first encounter with the puffins.

Pufflings, on their first journey away from their mother or father’s nests, will enterprise out towards the ocean in search of meals.

A big crowd gathered to have fun the launch of the annual Puffin & Petrel Patrol on Wednesday. The season to rescue baby puffins begins this week, whereas later in the month the group will begin to rescue petrels. (Andrew Sampson/CBC)

The night-blind birds will observe the sunshine of the moon, however with rising quantities of synthetic lights in the realm — like streetlights and headlights — they find yourself in deadly hazard, typically being hit by autos.

After a lot analysis, Juergan says he discovered that if the puffins had been collected at night time and launched the subsequent day, they’d have a a lot better probability of survival.

Juergen Schau, who based the puffin patrol together with his spouse Elfie, is affectionately known as the Puffin Man. He estimates that over 10,000 puffins have been rescued because the patrol started in 2004. (Andrew Sampson/CBC)

“Elfie and me at the start, we purchased slightly butterfly mild, and a flashlight, and a glove, after which we saved the little birds who’re standing the place there’s mild,” he mentioned.

The 2 of them would hold the puffins in circumstances in a single day, after which launch them when it was secure for them in the morning.

Because the group was based, it is change into a bucket-list merchandise for locals and vacationers alike.

From left to proper: Emma Burton, Sarah Burton, Sue Dougherty and Jillian Smith are all smiles as they put together for his or her first puffin patrol. (Andrew Sampson/CBC)

Emma Burton, Sarah Burton, Sue Dougherty and Jillian Smith, from Pennsylvania and Boston, Mass., are in Witless Bay this week for 4 night time of rescuing birds.

Sue Dougherty learn an article about puffins and pufflings a number of years in the past, and put rescuing one on her bucket record. This 12 months, she introduced her household to assist.

“Whereas we all know it is higher if we do not discover puffins, we wish to rescue one,” mentioned Sarah Burton.

Elan Failing, left, and Kathy Unger comb the realm surrounding the BGI Crab Plant in Witless Bay for any indicators of puffins. Failing got here to St. John’s from Vancouver to work on the Puffin Patrol with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. (Andrew Sampson/CBC)

“I am simply right here for an journey and to seek out some birds,” mentioned Jillian Smith.

“We’ll attempt to hold our pleasure to a minimal and attempt to hold calm if we do discover one, as a result of I believe that will likely be necessary for the birds.”

The household was half of the 70 individuals who visited Lengthy Pond Seashore on Wednesday for the official launch of this 12 months’s patrol, and picked up nets and circumstances at O’Briens Whale Watching Excursions to begin the watch for one more 12 months.

Road lights like this one could be a beacon for pufflings. (Andrew Sampson/CBC)

It might nonetheless be slightly early in the season for puffins to be roaming the streets, so these plush replicas could be the subsequent smartest thing. The patrol will likely be ongoing each night time till mid-September, and rescuers can decide up tools at O’Briens Whale and Hen Excursions between 9 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. every night. (Andrew Sampson/CBC)

Discovering the pufflings could be a tough enterprise. Right here, a member of the puffin patrol shines a flashlight beneath two transport vehicles to search for any indicators of the small chicken. (Andrew Sampson/CBC)

Joan Hutchings has been half of the patrol for 4 years now, saying there’s nothing fairly like rescuing your first chick. ‘It simply feels so good to know that you have saved it and it may be launched to dwell.’ (Andrew Sampson/CBC)

Learn extra articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

twenty − 6 =