Help us learn more about puffins: what they eat around the UK and how this has changed over time.
Covid-19 – visiting puffin colonies
With lockdown measures being eased in different ways and timescales across the four countries of the UK, please follow the latest guidance for where you live along with any specific advice for the colony you wish to visit.
Please do continue to submit your photos taken of puffins with food in their bills from previous years.
Join the Puffarazzi!
Puffins are one of our favourite seabirds, instantly recognisable with their brightly-coloured bills. Sadly, their numbers have plummeted and they're now threatened with global extinction. We think this may be down to lack of food, so we need to find out how the food puffins carry in their bills has changed over time.
This is where you come in. We're asking you to become part of Project Puffin's team of "Puffarazzi" by sending us photos that you have already taken of puffins with food in their bills (from any year and any colony), or visiting a colony this year and taking a photo.
Step 1: get ready
Pick a puffin colony to visit.
Puffins can be very sensitive to disturbance so please follow our puffin friendly photography guidelines. Avoid getting too close to a puffin or spending too long getting your photo. Keep your movements and noise to a minimum. Watch where you are walking and never walk over a puffin burrow and do not put yourself at risk to get a photograph.
Step 2: Take part
- Visit a puffin colony between early June and late July. They won't be carrying fish at any other time.
- Find a puffin carrying a fish in its beak. We know puffins are gorgeous birds and any picture of a puffin is special, but for this research we just need to see the fish in the puffins bill.
- Prepare your camera and snap. The easisest photo is one of a puffin that has landed.
- Make note of the date, time and location of your photo. We need to know so we can use it in our project.
Step 3: submit your photo
Once you've got your images please submit them below. If you have older photos we’d like to see those too, you can even submit pre-digital photos by taking a picture of the photo with a mobile phone!*
We'll ask you to leave us your contact details so that our project puffin science team can get back to you about what species of fish they think your puffin was carrying.
After you have submitted your image, help spread the word on social media with #Puffarazzi and #ProjectPuffinUK
Perfect puffin pictures
Puffins look amazing in virtually every picture thanks to their multicoloured bills and orange feet. For Project Puffin, we’re specifically looking for photos of puffins with food in their bills, so we can get a good idea of what they’re eating. Look out for popular puffin landing spots, or puffin nest burrows.
We’ve got more top tips in our photography guide – take a look to find out more.
Where to see puffins in the UK
It goes without saying that puffins don’t always nest and feed in the most convenient places! Here’s a handy map of the reserves where you’re most likely to be able to see them easily, and hopefully get the best puffin pictures.
Our team of Puffineers
Our team of intrepid puffin enthusiasts, led by Conservation Scientist Dr Ellie Owen, will be spending the summer working on Project Puffin. Their work includes identifying and measuring the fish in Puffarazzi photos; gathering their own puffin images; working on the science of studying puffin diet; sourcing photos from online galleries and communicating our findings.
You can contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Becoming a puffineer and learning to ID fish
Today’s blog is by puffineer, Katie Horton, on her changed plans to work on Puffarazzi and the learning curve involved. My first experience working with the RSPB began last year as a Volunteer Reserves Intern at Loch of Strahbeg where I lived and...Posted 24 Jul 2020 by Vanessa Amaral-Rogers
From sandeels to seabirds
Today’s puffin blog has been written by Project Officer Chantal Macleod-Nolan on how food is changing in a warming ocean Atlantic Puffins with their colourful bill and inquisitive nature are quite the charismatic seabird. They are also site...Posted 11 Jun 2020 by Vanessa Amaral-Rogers
The parallel lives of puffins
Today’s blog is by Puffineer volunteer, Ali Barrett Before the lockdown in mid-March, I took a boat trip out to the Farne Islands in the hope of saying "hello" and then "goodbye" to the puffins! Sadly, their four-month visit seems likely to conclu...Posted 27 May 2020 by Vanessa Amaral-Rogers
Big thanks to everyone who took action on the Environment Strategy for Northern Ireland
Sometimes it’s hard to remember life before Covid-19 (coronavirus), even though it’s only been several weeks since all our lives changed unimaginably. Now, our work/life is unbalanced, lockdown has altered how we connect with friends and family, a...Posted 12 Apr 2020 by Tabitha N
Going back in time… A growing team of puffineers tackle decades of data on puffin diet
Guest blog by Georgia Longmoor, Project Puffin Intern, RSPB Centre for Conservation Science Puffins on the brink In 2017, hundreds of people passionate about puffins ventured out to colonies across the UK, to help us find out what puffins are...Posted 04 Nov 2019 by Chiara Ceci
RSPB Bempton Cliffs: Puffin Panorama
Guest blog by Ali Barrat, Puffineer volunteer, Project Puffin UK At the height of the breeding season, the towering chalk cliffs of the Yorkshire Coast are transformed into a seabird city with nearly half a million seabirds, of which, less than 1%...Posted 23 Sep 2019 by Chiara Ceci