Three are family!
14 June 2012
Media and Communications Officer
A pair of puffins on Shetland have welcomed a chick live on camera.
The new arrival made its appearance at 15:36 Tuesday, caught by ‘Puffincam’, a webcam beaming live footage of a burrow at RSPB Sumburgh Head reserve.
A hole was spotted in the egg around 10am, marking the beginning of the hatching. With help from social media sites, “eggcitement” quickly spread across the globe with thousands tuning in.
Andy Steven, Destination Development Manager at PromoteShetland, said: "This could be the most addictive web-TV in the world at the moment, with over 5,000 eager viewers from as far and wide as the USA, Germany, Australia and Sweden tuning in to see the live birth of the puffling. An impressive 11,000 page views were clocked up throughout the day, with many viewers telling us they are hooked to their screens for hours at a time watching Puffincam. If it wasn't for Twitter then many would have missed the egg hatching live."
Puffincam provides an intimate look into the breeding season of the nation’s favourite seabird. So far cameras have caught everything from affectionate behaviour and nest building, to the arrival of the egg and hatching.
Helen Moncrieff, RSPB Warden on Shetland, said: “We’ve been watching Puffincam non-stop for over a month and are so pleased to see the chick. The family have a devoted following and we expect to see even more tune in to catch the chick’s antics. We are asking the public to help us monitor the live stream for any interesting activity, particularly when the chick is being fed, using the social networking site Twitter and the hashtag #Puffincam.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to discover Shetland’s amazing wildlife, from puffins to guillemots and fulmars. With so many seabird colonies struggling, we are happy to see this family doing well.”
Virtual visitors can also follow the action 24/7 outside the burrow thanks to infra-red technology, while a further camera, positioned on the cliff side, provides views of other breeding seabird species such as fulmars and guillemots.
It is all part of a Date With Nature project between RSPB Scotland and Promote Shetland encouraging visitors to find out more about Shetland’s amazing wildlife Puffincam and Cliffcam can be viewed at www.shetland.org/puffincam and more information can be found at www.rspb.org.uk/shetlandsummer
Puffincam is a partnership project between RSPB Scotland and Promote Shetland and sponsored by Northlink Ferries.
- Footage of the hatching, and other highlights will be available on http://www.youtube.com/user/promoteshetland.
- The egg was laid on Friday, May 4th. The incubation period is ordinarily between 39-43 days.
- The Puffincam partnership project is in its third year. A chick was never seen in 2011, but one fledged successfully in 2010.
- RSPB Scotland’s work in the Shetland area is supported by SNH.
- Thanks to Viking Optics for providing telescopes for the Date With Nature project.