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Nature Photography - Done Naturally

Horned Puffin

Fratercula corniculata

In 2010 we took a family vacation to Alaska.  The highlight of the trip was a day and a half wildlife cruise, interspersed with a one-night stayover on "Fox Island" off the coast of Seward.  The island had several cabins adjacent to the coast.   The next morning we were slated to reboard the boat for a day-long cruise, but we first headed down the rocky beach to breakfast.  We noticed several puffins foraging just off the beach, so I returned and got my camera and started shooting.  Most of the puffins were relatively far from shore, too far to get good photographs.  However, one puffin was foraging within 10-20 yards of the shoreline. After he made a dive, I crept down to the water's edge and waited for him to resurface. To my surprise (and to his, I believe), he surfaced fairly close to me, with a mouth full of fish. He made a few flaps of his wings, settled down for a moment, and then took off to (presumably) deliver breakfast to a waiting family at the nest.  It remains the closest views I've had of a wild puffin, made more memorable by the chance to get a photo of a foraging bird with a mouthful of fish.

Horned Puffin - Fratercula corniculata

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