Help us learn more about puffins: what they eat around the UK and how this has changed over time.
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.
Puffins in the Firth of Forth
Guest blog by Susan Davies, CEO, Scottish Seabird Centre Ask any of the visitors to the Scottish Seabird Centre in the spring and early summer, which species they are most looking forward to seeing, and by far the most popular response will be the...Posted 30 Aug 2019 by Chiara Ceci
Guillemot, razorbill and puffins, oh my!
RSPB Scotland's Allie McGregor tells us about her weekend exercise in seabird spotting. Guillemot, razorbill and puffins, oh my! It’s no secret that Scotland is blessed with amazing seabirds, with 70% of the UK population. Despite travelling the...Posted 18 Jul 2019 by Allie M
Photo of the Week: Puffin Loving
Summer Lovin’ (Photo courtesy of Nature's Home reader Mike Woolley) As the days draw longer and the nights warmer, the UK’s rich sunsets are the perfect setting for evening adventures – with many of us seizing the fleeting opportunity to explore t...Posted 05 Jul 2019 by Maddy Smith
Get involved with Puffarazzi: People-powered puffin conservation
Blog by Dr Ellie Owen , Conservation Scientist, RSPB Centre for Conservation Science What’s up with puffins? Like many people, I love seabirds. I work in RSPB’s marine conservation science team where I carry out research to understand the threats...Posted 15 May 2019 by Chiara Ceci
Puffin declines in Shetland - what can you do to help?
Blog post by Ellie Owen , Conservation Scientist, RSPB Centre for Conservation Science I was really pleased to see the recent article in the Observer giving much-needed attention to the catastrophic declines in seabird numbers in Shetland, one of...Posted 07 Jun 2018 by Kevin Middleton
Allison Leonard tells us about one of the more fun bur slightly unusual aspects of her job as RSPB Forth Reserves Warden, counting puffin burrows on Fidra! Fidra is a small seabird island off the East Lothian coast, known for it's links to Robert...Posted 23 May 2018 by Allison L