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Puffin Populatin' Power
November 8, 2012 10:12 AM   Subscribe

The Puffin Charmer or How one man restored the Atlantic Puffin population of the United States. Via Slate.
posted by Atreides (25 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
So cute but SO SMELLY.
posted by elizardbits at 10:21 AM on November 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also the article totally glosses over the fact that these people were technically puffinnappers.
posted by elizardbits at 10:22 AM on November 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is impressive and gosh, he had a lot of patience, from puffinnapping in '73 to the first nesters in '81.

Can I admit to wanting to go to Iceland and eat puffins.
posted by shoesietart at 10:28 AM on November 8, 2012


I went on a puffin watch! It was way more exciting than I anticipated. We watched the heck out of those puffins.
posted by ChuraChura at 10:29 AM on November 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm so glad you posted this. I occasionally glance through an article he wrote in an August/September 1978 issue of Wildlife Kingdom magazine (that has been sitting on my bathroom bookshelf for far too long). I think I've got about fifty back issues and most of the animal rescue/protection stories seemed to have pretty dismal outlooks, so it's nice to know of one that turned out well!
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:33 AM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also the article totally glosses over the fact that these people were technically puffinnappers.

It's okay, under Canadian law, the statute of limitations has expired for puffinnappery.
posted by Atreides at 10:48 AM on November 8, 2012


PUFFINS! Puffins puffins puffins puffins PUFFINS!

PUFFINS!
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:52 AM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


PUFFINNAPERY! Puffinnappery puffinnappery puffinnappery PUFFINNAPERY!

PUFFINNAPERY!
posted by Floydd at 11:10 AM on November 8, 2012


Easy to imagine how they were wiped out by tourists collecting eggs. Hard to imagine the work and patience to restore a single colony. Ironic the only thing keeping the Puffins alive is civilization (functioning laws and enforcement), the same thing that nearly wiped them out. Civilization a two-edged sword.
posted by stbalbach at 11:25 AM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've got one about a puffin whisperer.
posted by Nomyte at 11:54 AM on November 8, 2012


Last time I went home (to Nova Scotia) I went whale watching. Next time I need to go puffin watching. I didn't even realize that was A Thing until reading ChuraChura's comment, although of course I've been inundated with puffins by the one-track Nova Scotia Tourism department (or three-track, I suppose, since also have boats! and Celtic rock!).
posted by joannemerriam at 12:24 PM on November 8, 2012


elizardbits has it: Puffins, though criminally, charmingly cute, smell revolting. Think ancient oily fish-death, and you're nearly there. If the wind blows up from the cliffs, grab the sick bag. They were definitely the second smelliest thing on Fair Isle when I was there. (The first being a very dead and bloated seal at which a member of our team threw a small stone. The dead seal then burst wetly, creating a ponk of epic proportions.)

Remember: those sea pinks didn't get there without plenty of (noisome) fertilizer ...
posted by scruss at 12:47 PM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Easy to imagine how they were wiped out by tourists collecting eggs.

It was probably people collecting the eggs for food. Even though the eggs taste as bad as the adults smell.
posted by hydrobatidae at 1:14 PM on November 8, 2012


They are the MOST SMELLY OF ALL THINGS. Somehow they are even smellier than penguins, which seems like it should be impossible.
posted by elizardbits at 1:21 PM on November 8, 2012


I would hug them if I had some kind of special suit.
posted by elizardbits at 1:21 PM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but how do they taste?
posted by shoesietart at 1:45 PM on November 8, 2012


Like fish.
posted by hydrobatidae at 2:05 PM on November 8, 2012


Like imagine someone marinated a turkey with a rotten tin of tuna and some old anchovies - pretty much like that. But tough.
posted by hydrobatidae at 2:07 PM on November 8, 2012


In Irish, if your children quarrel, you can say to them.. 'Na bigi fuipini' which means 'don't be puffins'
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 2:23 PM on November 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


elizardbits they also puke on you as soon as you pick them up. It's vile. Most seabirds do, in fact, just in case you're ever on a boat and wake up to find your stateroom and the galley are full of them. Shooing is the way to go at that point, not carrying.
posted by fshgrl at 3:54 PM on November 8, 2012


Metafilter: a high tolerance for being crapped on by a variety of outraged seabirds
posted by dhartung at 4:21 PM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


yes, the barfing of the old rotten fish is the reason for the special hugging suit
posted by elizardbits at 4:46 PM on November 8, 2012


Puffin in Milk Sauce
posted by shoesietart at 4:58 PM on November 8, 2012


Puffin in Milk Sauce
posted by rjc3000 at 9:19 PM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but how do they taste

Like Duck but from the sea. I don't get where you people are getting tuna/anchovies flavor from, most fish makes me gag instantly but Puffin? OMG gamey goodness. I want them to be happy and numerous and thriving so I can get me some puffin procissutto more than once every three years.
posted by The Whelk at 5:21 AM on November 9, 2012


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