Of late, Petey was being fed more butterfish which are too large for a young chick because they are too difficult to easily swallow. More typically puffins feed their chicks small herring and hake which are easier to swallow. Shifts in fish populations can very quickly impact seabirds and in this case led to starvation. Fortunately, our biologists on Seal Island are reporting that most other burrows are proving successful with thriving chicks.
One of the hardest parts about these live cameras is that they capture the natural world in its purest state, and sometimes the natural world can be cold and unforgiving. While it’s a privilege to watch the intimate life of these birds in the wild, the truth is that most birds born in the wild each year do not survive the first year. This is why the work to protect birds and ensure more are born next year to replace those lost is so important.
RIP Petey ♥