Part 10 – Newfoundland and Labrador
Provincial Bird: Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula artica)
The website of the Executive Council of Newfoundland and Labrador indicates that the Atlantic Puffin became the Provincial bird in 1991. The website goes on to provide an overview of the characteristics of this bird:
“With a thick orange, yellow, and grey bill and stout body, the puffin is able to fly in the air as well as swim underwater, and its razor-sharp claws allow it to dig deep burrows into the rich soil of seabird islands. It lays a single egg at the bottom of this protective burrow. Both parents nurture until the chick is ready for life at sea in late August or early September. Ninety-five per cent of North America’s Atlantic Puffins are found in this province.” The Canada Government website indicates that the largest colony of the Puffins can be found on the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, south of St John’s. The reserve comprises four small islands, which provide a home to the Puffins, as well as other seabirds, during nesting season and beyond, for the birds to raise their young. The islands are off-limits to human visitors (tourists).