Puffins, Shetland Islands

How can you not love the puffin, whether horned or tufted puffins (as we have in North America) or Atlantic puffins as these little guys are? That beak! Those feet! That lovely tuxedo!

After seeing thousands of gannets and other seabirds, we dropped in on a colony of puffins, right beside the road. I don’t need to suffer for my birdwatching. But it’s just too easy to see them as little people . . .

Here, for example, is one who’s clearly thrilled to be able to fly, never mind that those stubby little wings look completely inadequate to the task.

Puffin with wings flared

And it’s just as well they *can* fly, considering where they live. Otherwise, one false step and that would be it.

View of rocky cliffs and sea far below

While most are happy to wait quietly for their turn to speak . . .

Three puffins on hillside

There’s one in every crowd who has to yell at their friend, across the room.

Puffin with beak open

There’s the guy who wishes that he’d remembered his mom told him to pack the dental floss.

Puffin scratching beak with foot

There’s the guy who can’t focus on where he’s going.

Puffin walking without looking where going

And there’s the guy who’s all too conscious of his good side.

Puffin posing with pink flowers common in Shetlands

So snap the picture!

And there are the ones who are too busy building their homes to worry about how they look.

Puffin with nesting material in beak

Puffin with nesting material in beak

Yup, the Shetland puffins are a microcosm of life itself.


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8 Responses to Puffins, Shetland Islands

  1. Dorothy Warren says:

    Our trip to the Shetlands netted 0 puffins. But we found a lovely sanctuary for them in Iceland which they probably needed since when touring the stores and restaurants in Reykjavik we found them stuffed for home decor and a la carte on the menus!

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Dorothy: Oh, dear. It does seem odd to me – the juxtaposition of puffin watching tours and puffin on the menu. But the locals see nothing amiss and I keep reminding myself it is their country. 🙂

  2. Mary Gibson says:

    These are lovely photos.

  3. Kate says:

    So incredible! They look like mimes to me 🙂

  4. Jim Taylor says:

    I’ve met all of those people, sorry, puffins in meetings.

    Jim T

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