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The Puffins Are Coming Home

The Puffins Are Coming Home

It’s Spring (yay!), which means the puffins will soon be colouring our shores once more with their gregarious antics and silly walks. These remarkable birds, nicknamed ‘parrots of the sea’, are small but hardy creatures who spend most of their lives on the ocean waves, braving storm-tossed seas all winter, far from land (they drink a lot of hot chocolate and read a lot of books to get through it, but never ones published by Penguin - their biggest rival in the cute factor polls). They return to coastal grasslands in the Spring, ready to socialise and produce their one ‘puffling’ a year. Their trademark beak is actually grey in the winter and only turns flamboyant orange for the breeding season (also known as ‘beach ready’). These loveable birds can hold 12 fish in their mouths at once (that’s an impressive amount of sushi in one go and very bad table manners), are very noisy whilst on land in large groups (party season), but totally silent out at sea (their answer to a yearly Buddhist meditation retreat?). And as if these friendly socialites of the sea bird world aren’t fabulous enough, they are monogamous to boot. They choose one mate and stay together for life (so the story goes..). Only if their mate dies do they then ‘remarry’ (the high numbers of ‘cliff falls’ are purely coincidental apparently). The collective noun for a group of puffins is ‘An Indecision’ (don’t quote me on this)…but we’re fully decided here at Coastal Home. They’re our favourites…but don’t tell the penguins.

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