All about Puffins
Skellig Michael is a major breeding ground of the puffin.
During breeding season the main food source for breeding puffins at Skellig island is sand-eels. But where do puffins go in the winter?
A group of Irish scientists tracked some of Skellig's puffins. As they left Skellig the puffins headed rapidly into the North Atlantic with some travelling as far as Newfoundland, taking around 20 days to do so. According to the study it is believed that abundant supplies of capelin and land-lance on the east coast of America at this time is the reason why they go.
During the winter the puffin's diet switches from predominantly fish to zooplankton. As opposed to their UK puffin counterparts because of this long distance migration strategy, the Skellig population are perhaps more susceptible to the effect of climate or oceanographic change - changes on the availability of their target prey (fish & zooplankton) species.