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by Klondike Kid
AOJ Wildlife

Puffins and Seabirds on the Kenai Peninsula Coast

The most popular sea bird in Alaska must be the puffin. Its colorful and clownlike appearance make it one of the most sought after photos by residents and visitors alike. Hundreds of thousands of other sea birds also migrate to the coastal waters of the Kenai Peninsula to spend their summer in the many rookeries where they raise their young.

Tour boats and local ferries leave Homer several times a day to visit popular areas where large numbers of sea birds are present. The most visited of these spots is Gull Island where puffins, kittiwakes, common murres and several gull species are nesting. The boats can get very close to these rocky pinacles where the birds make their nests and the "racket" they produce is an experience in itself.

Murres The sealife tour boats out of Seward visit many islands in the outer bay area where sea bird rookeries are found. Often there may be more than a dozen different species of sea birds nesting on the same pinacle. A trip on one of these boats will provide very closeup viewing of the nesting and roosting areas where these birds are found with a constant barrage of birds heading to sea or returning with food for their young. Immature and adult bald eagles frequent these areas hoping to supplement their diet with an unfortunate young bird not aware of the dangers these majestic birds pose.

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