Rathlin ‘puffin’ needs a name!

Friday 17 June 2016


To celebrate 100 days since the re-opening of the Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre, RSPB Northern Ireland is running a competition to find a name for its new puffin mascot!

The best suggestion will win a family day trip to Rathlin Island, including a day return ferry crossing from Ballycastle, bus transfer and admission to the Seabird Centre plus a cuddly puffin toy!

Rathlin, which lies just six miles off the north coast of Northern Ireland, is home to one of the UK's largest seabird colonies.

Since doors opened in late March, thousands of visitors from across the world have made the journey to enjoy stunning views of the wildlife which makes it home there - including hundreds of puffins.

The 'clown of the sea' is unmistakable with its black back and white underparts, black head with large pale cheeks and a brightly-coloured bill during the breeding season.

For most of the year, puffins bob about at sea, returning to land in April. Most puffins start breeding when they are five years old and often live for more than 20 years.

Between April and July the birds are hard at work raising their young (which are known as 'pufflings') and by August, the puffins and their charges are back off to sea.

As well as enjoying close-up views of the wonderful wildlife at the Seabird Centre, visitors also have the opportunity to explore the 'upside down' lighthouse. Situated at the heart of the colony, it is a spectacular feat of engineering, clinging to the cliff face with the lantern gleaming red at its foot. Along with 11 other lighthouses around the Irish coast, Rathlin West is now part of Irish Lights' Great Lighthouses of Ireland trail.

For full terms and conditions and to enter the 'name the mascot' competition head to the RSPB NI Facebook page. Entries can also be submitted by emailing your name and contact telephone number, as well as one suggested name for the puffin mascot, to rspb.nireland@rspb.org.uk. The competition closes on 2 July.

For more information about the Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre, head to www.rspb.org.uk/rathlinisland. Opening times and access can vary, so please check before travelling by calling 028 2076 0062.

Last Updated: Tuesday 28 August 2018

Tagged with: Country: Northern Ireland Topic: Getting involved