Little puffin rescued near Moncton 'a rarity'

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Little puffin rescued near Moncton, “a rarity”

Finding an Atlantic Puffin as far inland is unusual, according to a wildlife expert.

A small puffin was found by a New Brunswick couple in Riverview, near Moncton. It is very rare for this type of bird to stray this far from its natural habitat.

David Gordon was driving down the busy Coverdale Road in Riverview on Thursday evening when he saw a little bird on the road trying to flap its wings, visibly dazed. The Good Samaritan then stops on the side of the road to pick up the bird, thinking at first that it is a little penguin.

David Gordon rescued the little puffin on the busy Coverdale Road near Moncton.

The couple then takes the bird to the nearest veterinarian. He was then transferred to the wildlife institute in Sackville.

The bird is not a penguin but a small puffin. It's highly unusual to find a puffin this far inland, says Pam Novak, the institute's director of wildlife care.

When she received a email warning her of a stray puffin, she thought it was an autocorrect error and it was a pigeon . She calls this puffin a rarity and a mysterious bird.

In the 27 years that we've been here, we've only had a few,” says Novak.

Puffins on Machias Seal Island in New Brunswick during their mating season.

In summer, Atlantic puffins come to mate for several months on remote Machias Seal Island in the Bay of Fundy off the coasts of Maine and Grand Manan. They leave the island to head east into the Atlantic during the winter.

Finding an Atlantic Puffin this far inland, especially in winter, is a real mystery.

It's strange. I checked what other sightings were, and it doesn't seem like there are many inland at this time of year, late in the year. x27;winter, Mr. Novak said.

The little puffin is, so far, in pretty good shape. His colors are duller than the usual puffin image, but that's to be expected at this time of year. The beaks of these birds turn red during the mating and breeding season and darken during the winter months.

Its wings and legs are in good condition and he does not appear to have been injured when he landed on the asphalt. He is not malnourished and has a good chance of being released into the wild if he does not show signs of hidden injuries in the coming days.

If his health remains good, the little puffin will be released into the open sea, ideally near Machias Seal Island, where he can find his way back to his colony.

Based on a report by Shane Fowler, CBC

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