From May - August, the population on Canada's most easterly rock swells by a quarter of million as one of North America's largest colonies of puffins arrive from months spent on the Atlantic ocean. The reason? To re-unite with their mates (after all, puffins are monogamous) and make new pufflings.
North Atlantic puffins return to Newfoundlands' Witless Bay Ecological Reserve (a collection of four islands on the Avalon Peninsula) each year to the same cliff-top underground burrow where they lay and care for a single egg.
For fourth months, the islands become colourful, lively places teeming with activity as puffins jostle for space and food to raise their young. Puffins are very social birds who engage in a courtship display called 'billing', a behaviour where they find their mates and rub their beaks together. Puffins also gape; puff up their bodies to appear large and open their beaks to show aggression.
Last summer we set up some puffins cams so that we could observe them closely - but from a distance. Here are some highlights: