Tufted Puffin, Fratercula cirrhata; Saint Paul Island, Pribilof, Alaska
Discovered in 1788 by Russian navigator, Gavrill Pribilof. The “Pribilof Islands”, Saint Paul and Saint George lay 770 miles west of Anchorage, Alaska.
Roger Tory Peterson once called them the Galapagos of the North, for they harbor almost half a million fur seals and millions of sea birds. I have traveled to the Pribilofs five times and spent a total of 50 days on Saint Paul Island. It is an incredible place with wonderful photo opportunities. Weather on the islands is unpredictable. I have witnessed heavy overcast, dense fog, 40 mile and hour wind, rain falling horizontally, and sunshine all in the same day. Rain gear is essential for both the photographer and camera equipment.
This Tufted Puffin was photographed perched on a rocky projection at Reef Point on the south side of the island. The Tufted Puffins is one of two species of puffins found in the Bering Sea and the only puffin with blonde tuffs of feathers above the eye. Like the Atlantic Puffin the colorful beak is ornamental and looses it bright color after the breeding season.
Nikon F5, Nikkor 500 f4, Provia 100