Characteristics of Atlantic Puffins Fratercula arctica wrecked in the Netherlands, january-february 2003
Atlantic seabirds , Volume 5 - Issue 1 p. 21- 30
An unprecedented 114 Atlantic Puffins were found dead in The Netherlands in a few weeks time, mostly early February 2003. The wreck coincided, but had no relation with the Tricolor oil incident in The Channel and numerous dead Puffins were found in Belgium and northern France as well. The stranding may have involved between 180 and 200 Atlantic Puffins and 51.1% were identified as first winter birds. The birds were clearly starved to death and a mass-stranding of unoiled, severely emaciated Little Auks and Razorbills occurred at the same time. Biometrics (wing length) pointed at British (North Sea?) colonies as a source; none of the casualties was ringed. The wreck coincided with an influx of birds, but the event lasted no more than a few days. Following this wreck, mass mortality of auks has been witnessed in the northern North Sea (Orkney, Shetland, and Norway), and these events may have been related. The event in 2003 was the largest influx and wreck of Puffins in 75 years in The Netherlands.
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