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.

See our updates page for the latest coronavirus information.


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.

To see puffins, we recommend RSPB Dunnet Head, RSPB South stack, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, RSPB Sumburgh Head, Farne Islands (National trust), Isle of May (SNH) and Skomer (wildlife Trust).

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.

puffin colony

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

*Please note: Due to a technical issue, you will not be able to submit photos using Internet Explorer, so please use an alternate web browser such as Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox

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 projectpuffin@rspb.org.uk