The puffins (Fratelcula arteca) are the most numerous species of seabirds and since they can be easily watched by tourists, they are also the most popular. This bird colony, which can be found from Brittany Coast of France to Spitzbergen, numbers on Runde unbelievable 100 000 puffins. These colorful birds nest in caves or in holes in the grass. Its female lay a single egg.
In many areas in the north, the puffins are considered to be a delicacy and therefore are hunted on a big scale with a long spear while nesting. If the female is caught during brooding, another female comes to incubate the egg; and even if this female is hunted, another one will come immediately. It is always a young female that cannot lay egg of her own yet that comes to fill in. From time to time, the puffins flying in flocks around the rock are caught in the air by a net similar to that for fishing. A hunter can catch even 1000 puffins in
a single day. Fortunately, this plundering does not take place on Runde.
The island is a nature reserve and during the breeding season (from Apr 15 till Aug 31), it is forbidden to leave the marked footpaths.

The best place to watch and meet the puffins is the so called “Puffin Rock” (Sandshomet) in the south of the island. In April, during the breeding season, the whole colony hunts for food in the sea. A puffin can dive for a fish up to 60 meters under water and stay under the water for almost a minute. It can hold fish in its beak and continue catching fish under water (it presses the fish by its tongue against spines on the palate until its bill is lengthwise full with fish and the connective binder in the corners of the bill stretches).
We used to walk to the “Puffin Rock” in the early evenings around six o’clock to watch the colony returning from its daylong hunt for food. Dozens of puffins whizzed just above our heads and landed on the surrounding rocks. Their landing reminded me of a rag ball falling down to the ground. With its red beaks, their rolling and floundering made them best clowns.
Sometimes, a puffin crashed into another and an unsuccessful landing of a third one shot both of them down the rock. Then they would often stay on the ground, lie and rest for a few minutes. Since moving on the ground is rather unnatural for them, it makes them look really funny.

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