Puffins, Skomer Island, Wales, United Kingdom by Marta Demarteau

Picture Story

Atlantic puffins (Fratercula arctica) are together for their whole life as partners for their offspring: when they meet again after being apart for months alone at sea, they start ticking their beaks (which is called billing), cuddling each other and making courting sounds. Their courtship behaviour happens repeatedly to strengthen the bond during the breeding season. These puffins are bonding in front of their burrow. Their beaks are covered in dirt from improving their nesting site. I was staying at Skomer Island, Wales, United Kingdom, for 3 days in a row. Thousands and thousands of puffins were breeding on the cliffs of the Wick. One day I stayed outside till 10 o’clock in the evening, because the golden green light was really magnificent. I decided to photograph this couple without getting them as a silhouette. I wanted to make sure that their expression could still be seen, as they are standing so close to each other with their fragile and loving stare. I hope they had breeding success!

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