The Icelandic tourist board has just launched a web camera which provides views of millions of Atlantic puffins. The iconic birds come in their millions to the island of Heimaey to breed. The program allows visitors to pan left and right, zoom in and out, tilt up and down, and generally observe, as much as possible, the beautiful birds.
Heimaey is located only 7.4 kilometers from the southern coast of Iceland. It belongs to the Vestmannaeyjar cluster of islands although it is the only populated landmass in the area with some 4,500 residents. Heimaey’s most famous hour came in 1973 with the island’s volcano erupted, causing an island-wide evacuation, mostly in local fishing boats.
During most of the year, puffins outnumber humans on the islands by about 450 to one. During the breeding season numbers can rise to six million birds, all with brightly colored beaks and stark black and white bodies. The bills are used during the bird’s courtship rituals, which are now easily observable through the webcam. After breeding, the birds lose the orange bills.
Tourists who want more live action than the webcam can provide can take a ferry from? Thorlakshofn or take a domestic flight to the Vestmannaeyjar airport.
The puffin-cam can be found at this website; http://puffin.eyjar.is/view/index.shtml